Lib Dems disappointed that Stepping Hill Hospital has second most expensive parking nationally

Stepping HillWith a minimum charge of £3.50 since the price rises in September, Stepping Hill Hospital has become the second most expensive hospital in the country for short-stay parking.

Speaking of the increase Cllr Jon Twigge said: “The price for a 2-hour stay was put up by 40% from the 1st September. It is shocking to see that it is more expensive to park at Stepping Hill than at almost every other hospital in the country. Only the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford has a higher charge, and only the Hereford County Hospital charges as much as Stepping Hill does for short stays.

“Some 60% of hospitals have not increased their parking charges over the past year and some have actually cut them. Residents living near to Stepping Hill are badly hit by people trying to avoid these charges, to the extent that they often cannot park in their own street or access their driveway.”

Tracey Nicholls, a resident of Dial Park Road, said “From 7am when the first shift workers arrive until after 9pm when visiting hours end, my road is just full of cars. These are frequently covering the pavement. I paid to have the kerb dropped for a driveway at my house and people regularly park across part of it, but the police won’t act unless it is completely blocked. I have invited people from the hospital to come and see the chaos on several occasions , but they are not interested.”

Tracey added “When I hear how expensive parking is at Stepping Hill Hospital, it is no wonder visitors are choosing to park on the local roads instead. But it is now causing such a bad problem on my road that we are in the process of organising a petition. Something needs to be done.”

Cllr Laura Booth said: “Our NHS is supposed to be free at the point of use. England is the only part of Great Britain where hospitals routinely charge patients and visitors to park, as charges in Scotland and Wales were abolished in 2008. These exorbitant charges are a tax on the sick and those who care for them, and are being used as a sticking plaster for the inadequate funding our NHS receives from the Conservative government.

“Yes, more money than ever is being spent on the NHS but this comes nowhere near meeting the ever increasing demand placed on this vital public service. We call on the government to properly fund the NHS and to abolish hospital parking charges in England.”

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