Hospital parking charges cannot be justified

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From: Coun Nader Fekri JP (Labour & Co-op, Calder Ward, CMBC), Cheetham Street, Halifax.

I AM sure that I’m not the only reader to be outraged by Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s proposals to raise car-parking charges at the hospital by up to 50 per cent

As recent figures show, and indeed are confirmed by a “Which” survey back in the summer, Calderdale already has one of the most expensive hospital car parks in the region. I find it outrageous that the Trust would even consider such a punitive move.

As it is these charges are a disgraceful tax on the already sick and their visitors. They unfairly target the most vulnerable, including elderly people, and those who are often already under increased financial pressure that illnesses can bring and unable to use public transport. Worst affected will be those with chronic conditions that mean they go to hospital regularly. It’s the last thing patients, relatives, and carers need.

Although I don’t object to hospitals making a reasonable charge for a well-lit, secure car park, clearly the Trust now regards parking as an additional revenue stream, and because it is often difficult to park elsewhere, (as residents in and around the hospital will testify) they have you over a barrel.

Massive charges, and massive increases in those charges (especially in these straitened times) cannot be justified.

I hope that the Trust will see sense and refuse to implement the suggested increases.