Anger as parking charges increase at Gosport War Memorial Hospital

AN INCREASE in parking charges at a hospital have been met with anger.

Friday, 6th May 2016, 6:30 am
Gosport War Memorial Hospital

The car parks at Gosport War Memorial Hospital have been taken over by National Car Parks Ltd and the cost to park has risen.

As of Tuesday this week it is £1 an hour to park for the first five hours and £10 for more than five hours.

Before, it was 10p for 30 minutes, 50p for the first hour, £1 for two hours, £2 for four hours and £5 for more than four hours.

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Councillor Roger Allen, who represents health on Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘There was no consultation on these changes and even the council wasn’t told.

‘I only found out by accident. It is a money-making scheme.

‘The hospital complained that the last provider kept the money for themselves. With the arrangement they have now, the money goes back into the hospital but it is more expensive to park.

‘If someone needs to get a prescription, they will have to pay £1 just for that. It is an imposition on hospital users.’

Residents are also unhappy with the increase.

David Morris, a patient at the GP at the hospital, said: ‘It is a ridiculous to have a charge like that with such a big increase.

‘It is very annoying especially for people just using the GP service. To go from 10p to a £1 is ridiculous.’

A spokesman from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Bury Road, said: ‘Charges have not increased in these car parks for 10 years and the new hourly rate is broadly in line with the long stay charges applied by Gosport Borough Council.

‘Under the new system, 10 minutes’ free parking is allowed to drop patients off without incurring charges.’

He added: ‘The decision to make these changes was to do with the general misuse of the car parks.

‘The car park requires substantial expenditure for maintenance, which will be funded by the revenue generated. All income generated through the penalty charge notice process will be donated to one of two local charities.’