THE BROMSGROVE Forum for Older People has accused HoW College of ‘discrimination against the older population’ by failing to provide a cash payment option for the car park at Artrix.
The college caused controversy when, after introducing fees up until 7pm, the only way people could pay was by using a mobile phone.
In a letter to the college’s PA to the principal Donna Gibson, the group’s chairperson Carole Tipping said: “We accept the need to pay for parking and that the college hopes the revenue from the car park will help with funding but, judging by the initial response from the public, many people will not be using it.”
She added older people were more likely to use the arts centre during the day and if they could not pay by cash would probably stop going, having a detrimental financial effect on Artrix which could lead to its closure.
Mrs Tipping said no thought had been given to the fact many older people had no mobile or smart phone so would be unable to pay and elderly people, as they were the most likely to be scammed, would be unwilling to give their personal and bank details to a parking company.
She also pointed out there were other members of society, apart from the elderly, who found cashless payments impossible or unacceptable.
“In a time when tackling loneliness is highlighted as being of the highest priority, this payment method will deter many from attending the Artrix.
“Please reconsider and seek an additional, easier method of payment for parking.”
A HoW College spokesperson said it had issued a number of press statements regarding this issue and would not be commenting further but would be corresponding directly with individuals and organisations who had raised issues.
A petition – both paper at Artrix and online – has been launched in a bid to bring about cash payments.
Click here to sign the online version.