NEW car parking charges have been defended by the Heart of Englands NHS Foundation Trust as giving a better deal for the highest percentage of users.
New charges were introduced across the Trust’s hospitals – Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope in Sutton Coldfield – last week.
The changes have seen long stays of between six and 24 hours almost doubling from £5.75 to £10.
However, shorter stays have seen a raft of changes – mostly offering a better deal to car park users.
The changes have come under fire from some quarters, with users angry at the charges.
The hospital, however, believes it is giving a better deal for the majority of users.
*********** in a box please *************
30 minutes – free
One hour – £2.75
Two hours – £3.75
Four hours – £4.75
Up to 24 hours – £5.75
30 minutes – free
Two hours – £3
Four hours – £5
Up to six hours – £7
Up to 24 hours – £10
A Trust spokesperson said: “The Trust introduced new parking charges on its hospital sites from 2 May 2017 which mean the majority of our visitors now benefit from cheaper parking.
“An analysis of visitor parking habits found that the highest percentage of visitors park at our hospitals for up to two hours. “Therefore we have restructured our prices so that people staying up to two hours only have to pay £3.
“The new tariffs are then £5 for up to four hours, £7 for up to six hours and £10 for up to 24 hours. These are the first changes to our visitor parking tariffs since September 2013. Parking for up to 30 minutes remains free.”
They added: “We do recognise that parking charges can be a significant financial burden for some and so we offer discounts to anyone visiting our hospitals for more than one day, and free car parking to those in receipt of income-related benefits.
“We also offer a wide range of discounted multiple day tickets.”
The Trust doesn’t profit from car parking charges income as it is used to fund capital projects, utility costs, security and a car parking management service, as well as the upkeep, maintenance and investment in the car parks which includes CCTV systems, grounds, and road safety.