Hospital’s car park fees ‘back with a vengeance’ 

7 Feb 2024

 

By Lucy Ball, Buxton Advertiser, 25 January 2024

New data shows the sharp rise in the cost of parking charges has hit many patients in their pockets.

Parking at Macclesfield District and General Hospital is £3.50 for up to four hours, and then £6 for eight hours of parking.

Stepping Hill Hospital parking starts at £3.50 and leaps to £8 for eight hours’ parking, yet a seven day parking ticket is only £14.

Wythenshawe Hospital in South Manchester comes out as the most expensive for patients travelling by car, with prices hitting £15 for eight hours of parking.

A spokesperson for thegrade.com, which collated the data, said: “After a hiatus during the pandemic, parking charges are back with a vengeance.

“For many vulnerable individuals and their caregivers, these fees represent an unavoidable expense, effectively acting as a tax on both the sick and those who support them.”

The latest NHS estates’ data reveals a national 50 per cent increase in parking revenue, totaling £145.9 million in 2023, up from £97.9 million the previous year.

The spokesperson added: “This trend raises serious questions about accessibility and the financial strain on individuals seeking healthcare services. Parking charges have recently been described as a “tax on caring” and, indeed, the 2019 Conservative Manifesto promised to “end unfair hospital parking charges”.

Meanwhile, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have scrapped the charges altogether.

A spokesperson for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, to which Stepping Hill Hospital belongs, said: “Please note that car parking on our site is limited. We therefore advise people to come by public transport, or make other arrangements when possible.

“Disabled people and patients attending regular appointments for ongoing cancer treatments are able to park for free in line with our car parking policy, and concessions are available to regular visitors, such as pregnant women and family members of long-term patients.

“A car park pass for maternity patients can be purchased for £14.”