ONLY cash payments are going to be accepted at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital from tomorrow.

Bosses at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust have announced the new pay and display scheme at the Haslingden Road site.

Officials have revealed the company which processed card payments, on behalf of contractor Indigo, has gone bust.


And for the next three months visitors will be required to have the right change to secure a parking space there from tomorrow.

Frequent attendees have told hospital chiefs they must be prepared to make some allowances during busy periods.

Regular hospital visitor Jim Smythe, 48, from Colne, said: “I’ll cope but I’m a bit concerned that the wardens will be a bit too keen and starting issuing tickets.

“It’s not our fault that they can’t get their machines sorted out in time, after all.”

Patients are being advised they can obtain money from the cash machine in WH Smith, near the main entrance.

James Maguire, the trust’s divisional general manager for estates and facilities, said: “The temporary change is necessary because the company that currently processes card payments has gone out of business and, despite our best efforts, it has not been possible to appoint a new contractor before the April 1.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and advise people affected by the change to speak with the hospital’s car parking office near the main reception if they experience a problem.”

The issue will not affect the trust’s other sites, at Burnley, Accrington, Clitheroe and Nelson, which are run under other private contracts, it has been confirmed.

Hospital trust bosses have endured a number of headaches with parking in recent years.

MPs recently criticised the organisation after parking charges were introduced at Accrington Victoria and Clitheroe and Pendle community hospitals.

Further anger was generated when it emerged disabled drivers could not recoup the cost of parking when they parked in normal spaces, when blue badge spaces were full.