Hospital parking cost blow

Ledbury Reporter: Hospital parking cost blow Hospital parking cost blow

HEFTY parking charges at Hereford County Hospital – already among the highest in the county – are due to go up again.

A meeting of the Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) board was told this week that the charges would increase once more before the relevant contract ran out in 2016.

Councillor Graham Powell, chairman of the county’s health and wellbeing board, criticised the rise, saying charges were already “out of proportion to the point of being unaffordable” for those who had little option but to pay.

The charges, said Coun Powell, were one of the reasons why the council set up a “competitive” car park on the nearby Rockfield site off Station Approach.

The new car park, which opened on Tuesday, charges drivers a £3 fee for a full day while those visiting Hereford County Hospital are asked to pay £3.50 for a onehour stay. The other car park in the area, next to the bus station off Union Walk, asks motorists for £1 for a one-hour period.

Paul Deneen, chairman of Herefordshire Healthwatch, said parking charges would now be a priority for his board members. Of 18 public questions put to the WVT public board meeting, 17 related to high parking charges and their impact on patients and visitors.

The trust ruled out a return to covering parking costs through subsidies, agreeing instead to encourage more use of available concessions.

Hospital parking currently costs £3.50 for the first hour rising to £5 for two hours, £6 for three hours, £7 for up to four hours, £12 for nine hours and £15 for 24 hours.

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