Readers' letters - May 19

Parking charges are a virtual tax on sick people

Re: Royal Preston Hospital.

Today I attended the above for an appointment and was told that there would be a delay of around one hour. Because of this, I was there for just over two hours. I then went to pay my parking charge at the machine and was horrified to see £5.50 displayed.

I saw a notice saying New Parking Charges which read: Up to one hour – £2.50

One to two hours – £3.50

Two to four hours – £5.50.

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I am a pensioner and can ill afford to be ‘ripped off’ by an organisation that prides itself on caring for patients.

I am upset, aggrieved and highly disgusted and have put a complaint in.

Could you please inform your readers so they also don’t fall foul of this.

Here are my relevant points:

1. Most visiting times last one hour, so most visitors will get trapped into the one to two hour band.

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2. Outpatients/visitors staying one hour 59 minutes will pay £3.50. Those staying two hours one minute will pay £5.50.

3. Because of the notorious difficulty in finding a parking space, this will make people come earlier, thus adding to their time spent parking.

4. This is a virtual tax on the sick and those who visit them. What kind of nation have we become?

When the NHS was set up, I’m sure its aims were not to punish people for becoming ill.

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5. There is NO two to three hour band for a good reason. They make more money if you are just over two hours. There is no justification for this.

David Small


Double negatives

Further to Neil Inkley’s contribution to grammar, there is another bugbear that I have and that is the use of the double negative which, yet again, seems prevalent among those from Essex and indeed the eastern parts of London in general (LP Letters, May 10).

As a result of listening to programmes from these areas, real or imaginary, (I am sure I don’t have to, er, spell them out!) by using the double negative, it seems to give authenticity to the use of this grammatical error. It should not, but it is cringeworthy.

However, just like in maths, the use of the double negative turns it into a positive, which is probably not the intention of those who use it, but is nevertheless utterly wrong and yet again demonstrates a degree of illiteracy.

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I can think of no finer example of its misuse than in a court of law where the defendant, when asked if he/she committed the crime, replies, “It wasn’t me what didn’t do it, m’lud!”

Thus found guilty by the defendant’s own words and sentenced in one fell swoop of illiteracy, because this actually meant that the defendant WAS the one what done it. Oh dear, I’m at it now! “What”? Hey ho! One grammar lesson at a time.

For the record, it should be “who did it”.

I am not asking people to talk posh, but is it really unreasonable to ask people to speak and write in a way which cannot be misinterpreted?

There again, there are areas of England where most of the rest of us would be scratching our heads as to what we have just heard and even more just what was meant by what had been said.

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I leave the readers to ponder as to which areas I am referring.

Sorry, Welsh and other Celtic languages defeat me!

Neil Swindlehurst

Walmer Bridge

Austerity just isn’t working

Tax receipts are at an all-time high. Government borrowing is at an 11-year low. Yet this Government persists with austerity Britain.

Graham Nelson


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