Council opposes introduction of hospital parking charges

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:03 15 June 2010

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.

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.

Members robustly questioned Jenny McNeil, from Devon Primary Care Trust, about the proposals. They were particularly concerned that free car parking should continue for GPs and health workers.

The chairman of scrutiny committee, Councillor Roger Giles, said: "Many people in communities all over the district, along with a very active League of Friends, have raised many thousands of pounds to improve East Devon's hospitals. They have done this to give those who need health care better hospital facilities, and this includes the ability by them, their relatives and friends, to access these facilities without having to incur unnecessary costs.

"Members of the scrutiny committee are completely opposed to any suggestion that car parking charges are introduced at any of the district's hospitals and we will be writing to Devon PCT to express our concern and annoyance."

Misuse of hospital car parks was the reason given by Devon PCT for the proposed introduction of charges for car parking. Commuters are known to have left their cars at hospital car parks close to railway stations and they can remain there for hours on end. However, councillors pointed out that this could be overcome by installing a barrier and introducing a ticket system. Anyone found to be parking irresponsibly would incur a fine.

Ms McNeil assured councillors that local people would be consulted before car parking was imposed on their community hospital and local circumstances would be taken into account.


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