CAR parking charges at Huddersfield and Calderdale hospitals will go up from next month.
A meeting of the board of directors of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust yesterday agreed to the hike – the first rise since 2005.
But the increased fees still leave car parking charges at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal in Halifax among the cheapest in the Yorkshire area.
Under the proposals, which will be implemented from January, the charges will increase from £1.50 to £2 for two hours and for up to four hours from £2.50 to £3.70.
But for any long-haul visitors the 24-hour parking charge is to stay constant at £5 and on site car parking at Acre Mill will stand at £2 per day.
And there is good news for parkers who only wish to stay for a short period at both hospitals – the free parking in place for 30 minutes will be increased to 45 minutes.
Introducing his Case for Change, general manager of estates and facilities at the trust Gary Ashton said: “The last increase of car parking charges for patients, visitors and staff at the main hospital sites was in April 2005 and since that time the trust has increased its cross–site shuttle bus service.
“It has also upgraded its external CCTV coverage with plans to carry out further work in the next few months on enhancing the system.
“The Trust has introduced a manned system of car parking ticket validation, together with the provision of temporary car parking spaces at the Acre Mill site at Huddersfield which, in turn, has freed up more space on the main hospital site for patient and visitor parking.”
The car parking price structure will be reviewed yearly.
In August last year the Examiner reported that the NHS was making nearly a £¼m a year from parking charges at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Hospitals Trust made £239,257 in parking charges at the infirmary in 2010/11 – up 27% on the £187,596 generated the year before.
The figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information Act request.