Confusion over new parking system at Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals as ANPR system is rolled out

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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is today unveiling new ANPR number plate technology at the entrance to its car parks.

The new system at Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital will see an end to the old ticketing and barrier system.

But confusion has been rife today, with Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle informing the Post of "parking chaos" and "broken machines and confusion over charges", with the old ticketing and barrier system still being used this morning.

A spokesman from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the two hospitals, said that the process of activating the new parking system and ANPR technology is just a matter of time - with all the new machines installed and ready to be switched on by operator Parking Eye by the end of the day.

They added: "It just takes time. It's not as smooth as just flicking a switch.

"Once it's all activated the barriers will be lifted."

An out of order parking payment kiosk at Chorley Hospital

An out of order parking payment kiosk at Chorley Hospital

One of the old ticketing payments machines will be kept active until the end of the day.

And the Trust spokesman is keen to make sure visitors avoid fines by paying for their tickets even if the new system is active and barriers are up upon them leaving hospital grounds. Otherwise there is a chance that their tickets will remain unpaid and they will be open to a financial penalty.

Alternatively, if the new ANPR ticket machines have been activated upon leaving, visitors should enter their vehicle registration into them. If their vehicle is not recognised, there is an 'honesty mode' for visitors to choose from a tariff to pay for their stay.

Sir Lindsay said the Trust should "show some Christmas spirit" and make parking free while confusion exists over the situation.

Under the new ANPR system, the first 30 minutes of parking is free - to allow for people picking up and dropping off patients - and the minimum charge for parking is £2.50 for less than one hour, and people who qualify for a discount will also pay £2.50 regardless of how long they stay.

Patients and visitors will also now be able to pay for their parking online if they pay by midnight on the day of their visit

Parking across both hospitals will also be free on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.