QA car park firm will look at ideas to reduce charges

PEOPLE POWER Kirstine Impey hands a petition about Queen Alexandra Hospital parking charges to Cllr Darren Sanders outside the Portsmouth Civic Offices. Picture: Paul Jacobs (1458-1)
PEOPLE POWER Kirstine Impey hands a petition about Queen Alexandra Hospital parking charges to Cllr Darren Sanders outside the Portsmouth Civic Offices. Picture: Paul Jacobs (1458-1)
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THE company running car parking at Queen Alexandra Hospital is considering how charges could be reduced.

Portsmouth City Council Councillor Darren Sanders and Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock met representatives from Carillion yesterday.

At the meeting, held in the civic offices in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, both politicians suggested ways on reducing charges.

Mr Hancock said: ‘It was a good meeting, and it seems as though Carillion have taken away with them what we put to them.

‘I asked if the rate people pay to park for an hour can be extended to cover an hour-and-a-half.

‘For the same money people are paying for 60 minutes, if they could have that for 90 minutes, then it would be better for them.

‘We also put forward that arrangements for collecting prescriptions can be made outside the hospital.

‘At the moment if you need medication, then it involves getting a prescription being filled out.

‘This can cause delays to patients getting out, and therefore paying more in charges.’

Other proposals include having reduced parking rates for the long-term sick and their visitors, available more widely.

Currently the reduction is given at the discretion of staff.

Mr Hancock said Carillion will go away and look at the proposals, and report back at a meeting next month.

Carillion runs non-medical services at QA, and was responsible for upgrading it into a super-hospital under a 31-year Private Finance Initiative. The £256m project was completed in 2009.

To recoup the money it spent on the upgrade, it is allowed to charge for parking and other areas.

A petition carrying 1,135 signatures, asking Carillion to reconsider its parking strategy was also handed in to the firm yesterday.

As reported, Kirstine Impey started the petition, after a friend paid out £70 in one week to pay at the Cosham hospital.

Kirstine, of Fairfield Square, in Wymering, said the parking situation is so bad that people ask if they can pay for visitor parking scratchcards and park in her street.

She said: ‘We know Carillion won’t reduce the rates, but we don’t want it to increase further.

‘I have people knock on my door and ask for a visitor scratchcard, where for 95p you can park for 12 hours. The same time at QA would cost you £16.60, so I can see why people do it, but it’s not on.’

To sign the petition, email theitkid@icloud.com