Postbag: Don’t make hospital staff pay
I HAVE no connection whatsoever with any part of the Health Service. I see that parking charges at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are finally to be enforced. I have no problem with that. Hospitals are provided to make sick people better, not to provide free park
I HAVE no connection whatsoever with any part of the Health Service.
I see that parking charges at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are finally to be enforced. I have no problem with that. Hospitals are provided to make sick people better, not to provide free parking. Any extra income for hospitals is always to be welcomed.
However, I do not believe any charges should be made for hospital staff parking.
Throughout Huntingdon, free parking is available to the workers. People at the district council and Anglian Water have free, secure and enclosed parking areas, as do most other people working in the town.
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When Labour came to power in 1997, one of their "big ideas" was to charge/tax workplace parking to reduce traffic and increase public transport use. This was soon forgotten when it was realised how difficult it would be to enforce.
But, with the advent of hospital parking charges, the only workers now required to pay for their parking are those in hospitals (I doubt the penpushers in the Strategic Health Authorities have to pay). When you consider the unsocial hours they have to work, and the lack of public transport late at night and at weekends, it is utterly wrong to require them to pay to park at their place of work, when no-one else has to.
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The income from the new company should ensure close to 100 per cent payment by visitors, and this should more than cover free parking for the staff.
MAL COHEN, Croftfield Road, Godmanchester
YOUR front page article "New parking blitz at hospital" (January 11) prompted me to respond on this vexed issue.
For the past six months I have been a frequent visitor to Hinchingbrooke Hospital both as an outpatient and to see in-patients. I have duly driven around to find myself a parking space, placing my £2 coin in the machine, thus allowing me up to three hours to park.
The good news is that since this Government has fiddled patients' waiting times, very often I need a stay of no more than three-quarters of an hour. I could therefore often be giving the hospital much more money than I actually needed to.
But no, I decide to wait for a needy soul to come along, give them my ticket and also the benefit of a further two-hour stay on my parking ticket.
I have always been against the policy of making a charge for parking at the hospital (another Labour stealth tax) but realise that it would be a futile gesture to fight the matter.
I therefore have to approve of the tightening up on people who park at the hospital illegally with or without payment.
However, would it not now be an appropriate time for the hospital authorities to review their charges and introduce an hourly rate of, say, £1? This would benefit the hospital and would be much fairer to all patients and visitors.
County Councillor, Sir Peter Brown, Hartford Road, Huntingdon