Imperial College NHS Trust is in line to take revenue of more than £400k from car parking charges this financial year, new Freedom of Information figures have revealed.
The current figures, up to last month, show the three hospitals for which the trust applies charges – £2 per hour at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea – have made £369,190, an average monthly intake of £33,562. Based on this, the trust will take more than £402,500 this year, beating last year's total of £390,034.
The cost of parking went up to £2 per hour from £1.50 in 2009, and a short-stay option of 60p per hour for a two hour stay was scrapped.
The trust rents parking land at Hammersmith Hospital from Hammersmith and Fulham Council , paying the authority £266,280 per year.
It says the rest of the revenue goes into paying staff and maintaining the sites.
A spokeswoman said: "We pay rent for the car park at Hammersmith Hospital to Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which maintains the car park for its owner, the Trustees of Wormwood Scrubs.
“After this rent is paid, the total which remains is used to pay security staff on all five sites, as well as health and fire safety and other security.
“This includes car park patrol, escort service, lighting and CCTV to keep patients, visitors and staff safe.
“Our current pay and display charge is just 20p per hour more than surrounding council pay and display rates. This is to discourage general commuter parking.”
But drivers who use Charing Cross Hospital say the fees are too high. Mum-of-three Nikki Treviso said: "£2 is really steep, especially when you are often in there for a while. It is not a surprise the machines are taking so much."
Friend Terri Merchant agreed, saying: "It sticks in the throat a bit that while people are struggling, hospitals are getting record amounts in parking fees.
"I understand the rent they pay is high but was there really any need to scrap the short stay option?"