Increase in parking charges at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

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Disabled blue badge holders will have to pay to park at the district’s hospitals under new charges being brought in by NHS bosses.

From September they will be charged £2 for parking for up to one hour and £2.80 for longer at Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals.

Charges will also increase for drivers without a blue badge, from £1.30 to £2 for up to one hour and from £4.10 to £5 for between two and four hours.

At Dewsbury and District Hospital, a pay-on-exit charging system will be introduced from September.

Motorists will still be allowed 20 minutes free parking for picking up and dropping of patients and visitors.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said the charges for blue badge holders would help make sure their were enough spaces for disabled parking.

Kevin Oxley, the trust’s director of operations for estates and facilities, said: “We accept these changes will be unpopular but they are reasonable steps to provide sufficient parking capacity for those who need it, contribute to the costs of running safe and secure facilities, and safeguard access to Blue Badge parking and concessions for certain groups of patients and visitors.

“Introducing capped car parking charges for Blue Badge holders will enable us to invest in parking provision for this group of motorists across our three main hospital sites.”

The blue badge parking charges and new charging system at Dewsbury hospital will come into force in September.

The increases for other motorists will start on August 1.

Mr Oxley said “Introducing pay-on-exit barriers at Dewsbury and District Hospital is an important investment as it will improve the visitor experience, meaning people will only pay for the time they need.”

Concessions will remain for patients and visitors who have to use the hospitals regularly.

Refunds are available for people on some benefits including Pension Credit Guarantee Credits under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme.

Mid Yorkshire said it invested £1m in its car parks last year, which paid for more spaces, better lighting and security patrols.

Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, said the rise in parking charges were a result of govenment cuts to the NHS budget.

She said: “This is a huge rise in car parking costs, more than 50 per cent for those staying up to an hour.

“It will have a big impact on my constituents and and many others who use Dewsbury and District Hospital.

“The financial settlement for the trust and the NHS generally is not enough, and now that cost is being passed on to people who are sick and in many cases vulnerable, and their families.”

The parking charges in full:

Less than 20 minutes parking: free.

Up to one hour: £2.

Between one and two hours: £2.80 .

Beteween two and four hours: £5.

Between four and 24 hours: £6.90.

Less than 20 minutes for blue badge holders): free.

Up to one hour for blue badge holders: £2.

More than one hour for blue badge holders: £2.80.