A SLAGGYFORD man has said he is "being discriminated against" after changes to parking in Hexham town centre.

New parking measures were introduced in February in the Maiden's Walk car park, which serves both the town's B&M and M&S.

Under the changes, automatic number plate recognition has been installed, Blue Badge holders must pay to park and cash payments have been stopped.

George Wilde, 71, is appealing to POPLA after he received a penalty notice after visiting the car park for the first time and "not being able to buy a ticket."

READ MORE: https://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/news/20081116.cameras-signs-maidens-walk-car-park-hexham-need-planning-permission/

He claims signage does not warn people they can no longer pay with cash or that contactless cards should be used.

"I am being discriminated against because I do not have a smartphone or contactless bank card and this should have been made clear to customers using the car park at point of entry", he said.

"I am retired and was taking a 93-year-old neighbour to M&S.

"Their notice informs the customer 'How to Pay'. Pay online or pay at the machine. There is no sign to inform you coins not accepted, contactless cards only."

Adderstone Group is the landowner; the managing agents are Carter Towler LLP. Parking enforcement is monitored by Workflow Dynamics Ltd and Hozah oversee payments. They were all contacted for comment.

"A cashless payment system has been implemented", an estates surveyor for Adderstone Group previously told the Courant.

"Most car parks around the country now operate in this way.

"There were teething problems for the first weekend but these were immediately resolved and Hozah has put a great deal of effort into educating users. Cash machines not only pose a security risk but are also more labour intensive, costly to manage and prone to breakage; ultimately resulting in higher parking charges.

"We have a duty of care to ensure our private estates are safe, well managed and maintained. Unfortunately, we will not have council tax funds to tap into when this particular car park needs resurfacing.

"60p per hour is an extremely low tariff and M&S reimburses shoppers anyhow. For those shopping elsewhere in Hexham in need of a well maintained and centrally located car park, the cashless payment system really is very easy to use."

David Peach, for Workflow Dynamics, had said the measures improve the user experience at the car park, where abuse was prevalent, and enhance management.

READ MORE: https://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/news/20081044.suitable-system-needed-maidens-walk-car-park-hexham/