SHOULD hospital parking charges be scrapped? One Tory MP thinks so – Robert Halfon, who campaigns on behalf of motorists, will propose a new law to this effect in Parliament next week. He won’t have a shortage of supporters – patients, visitors and others have been charged a cumulative total of £13m by Yorkshire’s hospitals in the past year, with a further £200,000 accrued from fines, in a move branded as “a tax on the sick”.
Some perspective is required. Without enforcement rules and regulations, hospital car parks will simply be used by the self-centred who leave their vehicle all day while they go off to work or the shops – motorists can be that selfish. That said, the charges can cause genuine hardship to the long-term sick, and their families, at a time of great stress. Two points. What happens to the money accrued from charges and fines? Could it be used to support patients deemed to be in most need of financial assistance?