Queen Alexandra Hospital parking charges to rise

Concerns raised over elderly care

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HOSPITAL car parking charges are set to rise again next month.

Visitors will have to pay £1.80 to park for up to one-and-a-half hours at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham – a rise of 10p.

But Carillion, which manages the car park on behalf of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust as part of a private finance initiative deal, said this new rate will be frozen for the next two years.

Parking for up to two-and-a-half hours will stay at £3, and the firm has given an assurance this will remain for two years.

The rest of the charges will go up by 10p in April, but a date has not been given.

Last year, campaigner Kristine Impey collected 1,135 signatures of people unhappy with the parking charges, and along with Councillor Darren Saunders and MP Mike Hancock, handed it to Carillion.

Kristine, of Fairfield Square, in Wymering, said: ‘It’s a shame the charges still apply, but I feel we were listened to and the petition went some way to protect prices. A 10p increase isn’t too big and it’s good to see the first two time bands will be protected for two years.

‘I still don’t think it’s right, but it goes to show that if you make a stand then people do listen.’

Mr Hancock, who represents Portsmouth South, echoed those thoughts.

He said: ‘Carillion has got the message after we spoke to them last year.

‘I think they have listened and it’s good some of the rates are being protected.

‘People also think the hospital makes profit out of the parking charges, but it doesn’t.’

Carillion runs non-medical services at QA, and was responsible for upgrading it into a super-hospital under a 31-year PFI. 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.

Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs and business development at PHT, said: ‘We are confident Carillion, in line with its contract, has done the best it can for our patients.’

Reduced parking charge rates are still applicable.

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