Barrier plan mooted for hospital car park
DEVON Primary Care Trust should implement a rebate scheme for patients when it introduces pay and display parking charges at Honiton Community Hospital.
DEVON Primary Care Trust should implement a rebate scheme for patients when it introduces pay and display parking charges at Honiton Community Hospital.That's the view of the town's senior council, which is suggesting a token scheme, involving a barrier, be implemented instead."We do not see why a token-operated barrier would cost any more than several ticket machines requiring a contractor to 'police'," the council's secretary, Tony Simpson, has told the PCT in a letter."We have members who are unable to reach the hospital on foot, given its location on a steep hill above the town centre," he told the Herald."We are also aware of many seniors who are facing financial pressures at present; they see the charging system as a further erosion of their disposable income."At a recent meeting, senior council members said there should have been consultation over the introduction of pay and display charges.While they were not opposed to charging for unauthorised use, members felt the proposed scheme was unacceptable because it could cause hardship to those with limited mobility and low incomes."We see a case for discretion, but the proposed scheme appears to discriminate among categories of patients and could cause difficulties and embarrassment to both staff and patients," said Mr Simpson.The PCT is implementing parking charges as part of a green travel plan initiative across the county. It follows abuse of parking facilities.MEMBERS of East Devon District Council's Scrutiny Committee have unanimously backed a motion, proposed by Councillor Jim Knight, to vigorously oppose the introduction of car park charging at community hospitals throughout the district.