YP Letters: Hospitals must charge going rate in the area for parking

St James's Hospital in Leeds - should there be free parking at hospitals?
St James's Hospital in Leeds - should there be free parking at hospitals?
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From: Geoff North, Windsor Mount, Leeds.

I REFER to your article (The Yorkshire Post, November 11) concerning the abolition of hospital parking charges. The reality is that hospitals have to charge the going rate in the area for parking.

If you offered free parking all that would happen, in particular at an hospital in a city centre like the LGI in Leeds, would be that non-hospital users would use the car park such that hospital users would never get a parking place.

In addition, the cost of building car parks has to be paid for and some of the parking charge goes towards this cost. If parking facilities were free, the costs of building and running them would be robbed from healthcare.

I have been using the multi-storey car park at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, for several months to visit an elderly friend in the hospital and fortunately I have always been able to find a parking space. You only pay on exit for the amount of time you have used so there is no question of a penalty charge. The charge of £2.90 for two hours is quite reasonable and I do not begrudge it for a safe and secure car park and I am sure that any small profit the hospital makes goes towards improvement of the health care facilities. I have also used the pay-and-display facilities on the Beckett Street car parks over the years for when I was receiving treatment at the hospital. While I could normally judge reasonably well how long I would need, on a couple of occasions my treatment was delayed and the hospital staff kindly gave me a note to that effect which successfully allowed me to appeal against a parking penalty charge.

Mr Robert Halfon MP wants to get into the real world and appreciate that the hospital authorities, certainly in Leeds, are doing a pretty fair job on this matter and have been able over the last few years, to improve the parking facilities at both our main hospitals. One wonders whether certain MPs just jump on a bandwagon for there own personal glorification than any understanding of the facts. There are more important issues to discuss in Parliament than this.

From: Henry Cobden, Menston.

DO the Government read The Yorkshire Post’s editorials? They should do.

Your suggestion that money gained parking fines incurred at hospitals be given to those with long-term health needs, and who suffer financial hardship as a result of regular visits to hospital, was both practical and pragmatic.

Does anyone in positions of power take these points on board?