HOSPITAL visitors fumed as teething problems with the new car park payment system left them trapped behind the exit barrier.

A glitch with the card machine caused havoc with motorists visiting ill loved ones and going to appointments.

Marc Severn visited his grandmother at the hospital numerous times over the last week and reported seeing a jam of up to 20 cars waiting to exit the car park.

The 38-year-old from Oakhurst said: "It was really frustrating,The parking should be the easiest bit not the hardest, it's the last thing you want to worry about and it's something you don't need when visiting someone there. We couldn't get out and there was no-one there to help, my 18-month-old son was crying, it was awful.

"A lot of us were caught out by the card machine not working as we didn't have any change and no-one was onsite to help us or move the barrier up, so there were long delays as people dashed over to Costa to get cash and came back to pay.

"Why put it a new system that doesn't work and seems to be untested? Luckily my grandmother was only in for a few tests after feeling under the weather and she's doing alright now, and when I complained to the hospital I got a reply saying I wasn't the only one, so at least they're aware of the issue. "

Visitors are now given a barcode upon entering the car park, which they pay for at a machine before scanning the barcode at the barrier to be let out.

Michael Sharpe expressed frustration with the new system. He said: “I came up to A&E and it was a nightmare. They spent all this money on new stuff when the old system was quite adequate I went to scan the barcode at the barrier but it didn't work so we had to reverse back to the pay machine to sort it out. One woman was very confused about how it all worked and we tried to show her, it's such a hassle."

A spokesperson from the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused by the delays at the car park exit on Monday. This was due to a network issue with the credit card payment service on our parking machines. We have been working closely with our service providers and the issue has now been resolved.”

Marc was also unhappy with the increased fares which came into force around the same time as the new payment system.

He added: "I've paid around £7 just to park during three visits, it would be cheaper just to get the bus."

Kevin McNamara, director of strategy and community services at GWH said when the charges were first increased: “We have not increased visitor parking charges for at least five years and following a review of charges recently increased visitor parking charges remain in line with those applied in a number of the borough council operated car parks. On average, the majority of visitors park for less than two hours and the increase equates to 20p for two hours of parking."