Bradford hospitals put up prices of parking for first time in 11 years

COSTLY: Parking at the Bradford Royal Infirmary could soon be up to 75 per cent more expensive than it is now
COSTLY: Parking at the Bradford Royal Infirmary could soon be up to 75 per cent more expensive than it is now

New parking charges will soon be introduced at the Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital with increases of up to 75 per cent on previous fees.

Announced last week, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says the price hike will be the first in 11 years and will come into effect later this month.

Current prices are set at £2 for up to three hours and £5 for up to 24 hours.

These tariffs will be broadened when the new prices come in, meaning some visitors could see themselves saving up to 30 per cent whilst others will be forced to pay more.

Paul Featherstone, Director of Estates and Facilities at the Trust said the greater ‘flexibility in paying’ will be beneficial for many.

“We continue to meet – and beat – all the principles laid down by the Department of Health in its best practice guidelines for hospital car parking charges introduced last year,” he said.

“All our hospitals’ car parks are self-funding, ensuring we don’t have to divert money away from frontline services and patient care for their maintenance, improvements and security patrols.

“We are determined to keep car parking charges as low as possible and this is the first time since May 2004 that rising costs and growing pressure to create extra parking has forced us to increase them.

“In this extended passage of time, the cumulative rate of inflation has been around 30 per cent and this has added significantly to our costs, which go up year-on-year.”

New charges will mean visitors of up to two hours will be charged £2.50, for a three-hour ticket it will be £3.50, up to four hours is £4.50, up to five hours is £5.50, and for between five and 10 hours, £8 will be charged.

The Foundation Trust has pledged to retain reduced rates for people frequently attending outpatient clinics and those visiting relatives who are gravely ill or having an extended stay in hospital.

The Foundation Trust  say they researched car parking tariffs at seven other hospitals in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester before deciding on the new structure and aligning it with the average level of charges.

There will also be a modest increase to the cost of staff car parking permits from September following staff consultation – the first increase in more than a decade for the vast majority of employees.