PARKING charges at two of the borough’s busiest hospitals could rise for both patients and staff.
Last week, workers at Hillingdon Hospital in Pield Heath Road, Hillingdon, and Mount Vernon Hospital, in Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, were told in an internal message that the cost of parking was set to go up in the new year.
David McVittie, chief executive at The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust Board has agreed in principle that, from January 2012, the Trust will be increasing its car parking charges for both staff and visitors.
“We recognise that this is an unpopular step, but our visitor car parking charges have remained below average until now and our staff parking charges have been frozen since 2009.”
In April 2009, the Gazette reported that in the previous financial year the two hospitals raked in more than £800,000, with nearly three quarters coming from Hillingdon Hospital.
The proposals have been met with anger from some members of staff.
One full-time Hillingdon Hospital worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I am absolutely disgusted by it. I have been working here for 20 years, and the charges have never gone up so much in one go.
“A daily pass for permit holders is going up by 150 per cent – from £1 to £2.50. That’s £50 a month, or £600 a year. It’s not a small amount of money.
“I live in Hillingdon so I can get the bus if I need to, but a lot of my colleagues live further afield and have no choice but to drive in.
“In my opinion, patients shouldn’t have to pay for parking at all.”
Another part-time member of staff told the Gazette that his colleagues were ‘up in arms’ about it.
He said: “They are not going to increase our wages as well are they? It’s ludicrous. They are raising the price above the rate of inflation.
“They are basically saying that they need to raise the income to keep hospital afloat, but I don’t think that is a satisfactory explanation. The car park is rammed most of the time.”
Mr McVittie added: “We are currently still keeping our concessionary charges, which include free disabled parking across both sites and weekly and monthly permits for long term patients and visitors.
“We are also keeping our drop-off zones across both sites, which allow free parking for 20 minutes at Hillingdon and 30 minutes at Mount Vernon.
“We are listening to the views of our car parking committees, on which representatives from staff, unions and the public sit, and will consider these before a final decision is made.”
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10-30 minutes: rising from £1.10 to £1.30
30 minutes to one hour: rising from £1.80 to £2.50
Between one hour and 1.5 hours: £2.60 to £3
Between 1.5 and two hours: £3 to £3.40
Between two and 10 hours: £3.70 to £5
Between 10 and 24 hours: £6.70 to £10
24 hours: £19 to £20
Each additional day: £20
Daily charge for permit holders: £1 to £2.50