Hospital bosses to review controversial parking charges

Pinderfields HospitalPinderfields Hospital
Pinderfields Hospital
A controversial decision to increase the cost of parking at the district’s hospitals will be reconsidered.

Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust introduced new charges for disabled blue badge holders at Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals.

Motorists are now charged £2 for parking for up to one hour and £2.80 for longer.

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Charges increased for drivers without a blue badge, from £1.30 to £2 for up to one hour and from £4.10 to £5 for between two and four hours.

Hospital bosses will refer the policy back to its board of directors following a meeting with Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff.

In a letter to the trust’s chief executive Stephen Eames, she said: “I have been contacted by a significant number of constituents who have been caused distress by this decision.

“A man who attends hospital every week is just managing to cope on his state pension and believed that paying to park his car would ‘tip him over the edge’.

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“A woman tearfully explained her husband had been an in-patient for several weeks and was paying more than a hundred pounds a month just in parking fees.”

The blue badge parking charges and new charging system at Dewsbury hospital came into force in September.

The increases for other motorists started on August 1. Concessions remain for patients and visitors who have to use the hospitals regularly.

And drivers are still allowed 20 minutes free parking for picking up and dropping off patients and visitors.

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A spokesman for the trust said: “We had a productive meeting with Paula Sherriff MP and discussed the car parking charges as part of this.

“The MP asked for her concerns about the charges for blue badge holders to be raised with the Trust Board.

“We agreed Paula could attend a future board meeting and put forward her views in person.

“Introducing a capped car parking charge of £2.80 for blue badge holders means we can invest in parking provision for this group of motorists across our three main hospital sites.

“We have kept the charges in line with other NHS Trusts, public sector organisations and off-street car parks in Wakefield and North Kirklees.”

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