STAFF and visitors face a rise in pay-and-display parking charges at the Royal Stoke University and Stafford County hospitals
Hospital trust bosses have blamed the latest increase on rising costs on servicing and maintaining the car parks, with charges across the board going up by 10p, 20p and 30p depending on the tariff.
Exemptions will remain in place for cancer, critical care, kidney, high dependency and maternity patients, while the concessionary parking permit for frequent visitors will remain at £15 per week.
The increased tariffs, to be introduced on April 1, are: up to one hour £1.80 to £1.90, 1-2 hours £3 (£3.20), 2-3 hours £4 (£4.20), 3-4 hours £5.80 (£6.20), and 4 – 8 hours £6.90 (£7.20).
NHS campaigners have criticised the latest increase, given that income from parking totalled £3.5 million last year.
A spokesperson for the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust explained: “We have to balance the needs of patients, visitors and staff.
“Our parking fees are still lower than many other trusts nationwide and it is important that we are able to keep parking fees low for everyone.
“However, we need to ensure that the creation, maintenance, service and security of car parking does not impact on finances allocated for direct patient care for a hospital that treats more than two million patients a year.”
Despite there being over 3,000 car parking spaces at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, staff and visitors find it difficult to park.