BURTON’S Queen’s Hospital is introducing new concessionary parking charges in a bid to simplify the system and slash administration time.
From October 1, visitors will be offered a weekly pass for £8 or a monthly ticket for £25, replacing a system managers say has not been reviewed for some time and is unwieldy.
Partial refunds, in which the amount to be repaid is £10 or more, are currently only considered for frequent attendances, unexpected admissions and lengthy stays.
Alan Clark, the managing trust’s head of estates and facilities, said, however, that this old system would be replaced by the two new charges following ‘a thorough review of parking concessions’.
“The policy for concessionary parking has not been reviewed for a number of years and the new rates compare favourably with other hospitals,” he said.
The changes will only affect concessionary parking charges and standard charges will remain the same.
The new tariffs were announced as the coalition Government distanced itself from a pledge made by the previous Labour administration to abolish hospital parking charges in England.
Health Minister Simon Burns said the Government was ‘unconvinced’ that Labour’s car parking policy, set to save the public about £110 million a year, was properly funded or practical in the current economic climate.
Burton MP Andrew Griffiths agreed that parking charges were almost certainly here to stay and said: “There’s no doubt Labour was promising billions of pounds as election bribes, knowing full well that the money was not there to pay for them.
“Like a lot of people, I would like to see an end to hospital parking charges, but I also recognise that for many hospitals, they bring in a vital income stream.