New parking charges have come into force at Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley Hospital.Advertisement
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has moved to a sliding scale of charges – rather than a flat rate which saw a charge of £3 for anywhere from 31 minutes to six hours.
Now visitors and patients at the hospital will pay based on the length of time spent there.
The hospitals are also introducing charging for Blue Badge holders. Disabled visitors to the hospitals will have to pay for their car parking – a move the Trust defends claiming many other hospitals in the region operate a charging policy for blue badge holders.
Charges for blue badge holders are not yet in operation as the hospital said it had to install additional pay and display ticket machines first.
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Strategy directory for the NHS Trust Carol Spencer said: “The cost of maintaining and managing our car parks rises every year, however the charges haven’t increased since 2012.
“We appreciate that not everyone agrees that hospitals should charge for car parking, however we believe that the cost of providing safe and secure car parks should not be taken from budgets intended for patient care and treatment.
“The money we recoup from the charges will be used to maintain and improve the car parks, including improved security and car park management system. The additional income will enable us to plan better facilities for the future. Any surplus will be reinvested in patient care.”
Here’s the new charges – in force from Saturday (1 July), what they used to be is in brackets
Up to 30 minutes – Free (Free)
Up to one hour – £3 (£2.50)
Up to two hours – £3.50 (£3)
Up to four hours – £5.50 (£3)
Up to six hours – £6 (£3)
Up to eight hours – £10 (£8)
More than eight hours – £10 (£10)
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Concessions are available for a number of patient and carer groups, so people who attend hospital frequently or have a long stay in hospital aren’t charged through the nose for parking. You need to ask at the hospital for details.
What do you think of the new parking charges? Let us know your experience of parking at the hospital in the comments below