A campaign has been launched to petition against the rise in parking charges at Royal Stoke University Hospital and Stafford County Hospital.
Stewart Robinson, branch secretary for UNISON at UHNM (University Hospitals of North Midlands), has launched the campaign, which hopes to see the rise in parking charges for visitors and staff removed.
The new parking charge scheme, which will be introduced April 1, will see visitors being charged 50% more than previously, with staff being charged 5% more to park.
Mr Robinson, said: “No staff, patients or visitors should have to pay to visit loved ones in hospital. We don’t go out of necessity, but through a family member being taken ill, in an accident or even dying of cancer.
“Lots of community hospitals and centres have been closed by lack of funding and now visitors including staff are forced to pay for parking, where otherwise they would have received for free.
“The increase does not help the parking situation, nor does any profit go back into more security. But it only lines the pockets of the private companies that run the service.
“The UHMN Trust should be ashamed by raising the concessionary parking charge by 50%, knowing that those long term patients are very ill and unable to be cared for in their own homes.”
Gareth Snell, Stoke-on-Trent Central MP, said: “The hospital can’t keep putting up car parking charges to raise revenue, that’s something they’ve got to accept.
“There is a knock on effect every time they put up the car parking charges. They get a spike of complaints from neighbouring streets, because people who work at the hospital park on their streets.
“Its not a sensible solution and they ought to be looking at what they do with their old site and how it can be better utilised.
“They can get more people into work without the need of cars, so part of that conversation should be if people are getting buses to and from the hospital from major cities at the correct times and what they could be doing to encourage people not to use their cars to go to the hospital in the first place.”
To read more and to sign Stewart’s petition visit here: