Bury St Edmunds: Health chiefs confirm West Suffolk Hospital parking hike
HEALTH chiefs have announced a further hike in parking tariffs at a Suffolk hospital where the cost of a two hour stay has increased by 36% in just five years.
The latest hike to be imposed at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds will see the cost of a two-hour stay hit �3 for the first time.
Moves to increase charges at the site follows an annual review of car parking on the site in Hardwick Lane.
The new tariffs will be introduced on June 1 by the Watford-based VINCI Park Services UK Ltd, which took over management of the hospital’s car parks in 2006.
When the parking giant took on the management of car parking, the cost of a two hour stay was �2.20. The rise to �3 marks a 36% rise in those five years.
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In 2006, the cost of a four week permit was �10. As of June 1, a one-week permit will cost �11.
Hospital bosses – who last night urged the public to use public transport rather than their cars – say the contract with VINCI generates income of more than �500,000 each year, which is spent directly on patient care.
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“We appreciate that car parking charges can cause concern to some of our patients and visitors,” said Jan Bloomfield, director of workforce and communications.
“As such, we will continue to provide free drop-off points and offer discounts to those with special circumstances.
“Wherever possible, we would also encourage people to explore public transport and other alternatives for accessing the hospital site.”
There are 20 free, short-stay “drop-off” points available on site for people visiting for up to 20 minutes. There are also dedicated spaces available for disabled drivers, as well as cancer and dialysis patients using the Macmillan and renal units at the rear of the site.
In addition, patients and visitors with special circumstances, or those attending for long-term treatment, are encouraged to check with ward staff to see if they are eligible for a concessionary permit.