A NEW parking clampdown has caused confusion among park and ride users going to Arrowe Park Hospital.
Concerned pensioner, Norman Ellis, is worried that the new parking sanctions introduced at Upton retail park will leave him with a hefty fine.
The car park is also used for hospital goers who use the park and ride bus to Arrowe Park Hospital, which Norman uses.
The blue badge holder was handed a leaflet outlining the new system, stating that an automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will operate on the entrance and exit of the car park, giving a strict three hour parking limit to customers.
The 78-year-old was worried he would face a hefty penalty if his hospital appointments exceeded three hours.
The leaflet warns people that those over the time limit will result in the DVLA being contacted and a fine will be issued.
Norman, who lives in Greasby, use the free bus service regularly for him and his 76-year-old wife Irene.
He said: “We use the free bus service because it’s handy and we don’t have to pay for it.
“Both my wife and I have had cancer so we go to Arrowe Park pretty regularly.
“We go for various things, I attend the appliance clinic to get new shoes after an accident left me with one leg shorter than the other. Sometimes we go for scans. I’ve recently had an operation on my hand at Clatterbridge Hospital.
“I have got a blue badge but you can never park in the designated area, so its easier to use the park and ride.
“The parking facilities at Arrowe Park aren’t very good either and it’s £2.50 to park. Pensioners cannot afford that, especially if they're going regularly – it’s a lot of money.
“I was very annoyed when I first saw the notice, it was very ambiguous with this business of three hours.
“It is now being manned by Europe Car Park and operate an APR which take images of the number plate on entrance and exit to ensure there is sufficient places for customers.
“But what if we are more three hours at the hospital and have different appointments?
“It’s a disgrace, we have always used this free bus.”
The free bus service runs from 9.30am to 5.30pm, with half day on Fridays to make way for customers.
The new parking system came in to force on February 1. Shops on the site include Sainsburys, Argos, McDonalds and Homebase.
Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who operate the park and ride bus service gave assurances that no fines will be issued to those who park at the shopping complex to go to the hospital.
A spokeswoman for Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust added: “The Trust has been given a categorical assurance by Sainsbury’s that whilst number plate recognition will be introduced at the Upton store car park, the supermarket is committed to ensuring that parking will continue to be free, without a time limit, for Park & Ride users.
“Currently they are looking into how this can be achieved operationally and are liaising with the Trust in this respect.”