Parking charge hikes at Bury hospital

PARKING charges at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds will rise by 10p per stay from August.

Laurence Cawley

PARKING charges at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds will rise by 10p per stay from August.

The hospital is bringing in a range of measures covering parking and security, including adding CCTV cameras to the front of the hospital. Patients will be encouraged to get to the hospital by public transport, and the possibility of parking permits for staff who car share will be investigated. An extra member of staff will also be on duty at the busiest times to help traffic flow.

The annual review will see a stay of up to two hours rise from �2.70 to �2.80. Two to four hours will cost �4, up from �3.90, and four to six hours will cost �6.40, up from �6.30. A weekly permit will rise by 20p and a monthly permit by �1. There will still be 20 free “drop-off” spaces for 20 minutes or less.

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The measures will be introduced by Vinci Park Services, which took over management of the hospital car parks in 2006 under a seven-year contract. The hospital gets more than �500,000 a year from parking charges, and the money is spent on patient care.

Chief executive Chris Bown said: “We appreciate that some people view car parking charges as a cause of concern. As a result, Vinci have taken the current financial climate into consideration to make sure the maximum increase is no more than 10p a day.

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Over the coming months, we will also start developing a long-term travel plan for the site, which will encourage a movement away from single occupancy car journeys to more sustainable modes of transport. We will be carrying out a survey and would be grateful if everyone using the hospital during this time could answer a short questionnaire to help us plan effectively for the future.”

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