NHS PARK FEES RISE
CHARGES for visitor parking have been hiked at 86 hospitals, research by the Sunday People reveals.
Cash-strapped sites have also scrapped free parking for disabled drivers and low-paid staff in the past year.
Details of the rip- off charges come as one of Britain’s biggest private parking firms, Parking Eye, toasted a 38 per cent jump in profits. The firm – which manages 900 car parks including 17 at hospitals – made £8.2million last year, up from £5.9million in 2015.
We found that of 472 hospital trusts in England, 307 charge staff to park, up from 303 a year ago. Edgware Community Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital are the priciest at an average £2 per hour.
The number of hospital trusts charging disabled drivers was up from 117 to 121 – and 303 charge the public for parking. Unison’s Sara Gorton said: “Cash-strapped NHS trusts are being forced to charge patients, relatives and staff small fortunes to park because budgets are so squeezed.”
“It cannot be right that private firms are making such huge profits from excessive parking fees.”
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth added: “It’s scandalous that patients and staff are being forced to foot the bill for the Tory health crisis.”
A spokesman for Parking Eye, which is owned by Capita, said: “Parking tariffs are set by NHS trusts.”