Hospital Car Parking For Blind Drivers
In the last few months, I have made many many visits to my local hospital to consult my consultant (sorry), regarding my Completely Ludicrous Leukaemia.
The pattern of these visits is normally the same, and involves leaving home half an hour earlier than should be necessary, in order to find a parking space. The area surrounding the hospital has tight parking restrictions, and you are obliged to use the hospital car parking facilities, which are always full. And expensive – very expensive, and the fee rises on a sliding scale depending on your length of stay.
As a little digression here, my Member of Parliament resigned yesterday from his position of Leader Of The Western World. I could be wrong here, but I believe that it was during his term as Leader that the National Health Service hospitals were allowed to begin charging their patients and visitors for car parking. This was probably one of the worst changes of his premiership, charging the most vulnerable at their most vulnerable.
However, after stopping at the barrier and pressing the button for my ticket, I can eventually find a parking space, and normally have to sprint to be on time for my consultation with my consultant. After consulting with my consultant I find a pay station within the hospital, pay the fee, then return to the car, exit the car park and return to the sanity of the real world. Except I don’t. I take my parking fee exempt father along and we avoid the charges, quite legitimately, due to his disabled exemption. My NHS trust extorted over one million pounds in car parking charges from its patients last financial year.
But this post was about parking for blind drivers.
As you enter the car park, you are faced with a huge brightly coloured barrier and a ticket machine. Once you have pressed the button and collected your ticket, the barrier rises, accompanied by the very loud sound of a klaxon. On driving to the exit, you are again faced with a barrier and a ticket machine where you insert your now paid for ticket. The barrier rises when the ticket (which you have paid for by now) is inserted, again accompanied by the piercing sound of a klaxon.
I have given this a great deal of thought, and the only possible reason for the klaxon on entry and exit, is so that blind drivers know when the barriers are raised.