Car parking charges at The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust are set to change with free drop off areas and lower charges for longer stays.
The changes will be introduced from Monday 1 October 2012 and include free stays of up to 30 minutes in drop off areas for patients and relatives to quickly visit the hospital without having to pay.
New tariffs have been introduced to reflect what patients and visitors have told the hospital in feedback. From Monday 1 October 2012, patients and visitors will be asked to pay £1 for up to one hour, £2 for up to two hours and £3 for up to three hours, £4 for up to four hours and £7 for more than four hours.
Current charges until 1st October are: 30 minutes — £0.90; 1 hour — £1.50; 2 hours — £2.80; 3 hours — £4.10; 4 hours — £5.40; 6 hours and over — £8.00
Jeff Calver, Associate Director of Estate said: “We’ve listened to what our patients, visitors and staff say about car-parking and hope these new changes will greatly improve people’s experience of using the hospital car-parks. We know that many people only need to visit the hospital for very brief periods of time, to bring a friend or relative into hospital for an appointment, or to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy for example. We’ve made car-parking free for 30 minutes in the drop off bays around the hospital site.
“People also told us that they would prefer not to worry about having the correct change such as £2.80 in coins to pay for the existing up to two hours car parking charge, which is why we have rounded the charges to £1, £2 or £3” Jeff continued.
A range of concessionary parking tickets are available for patients who visit the hospital for radiotherapy, physiotherapy, dermatology and dialysis. An eight visit ticket costs £2.80. Long term visitors are also able to benefit from reduced prices.
Everyone who uses the hospital car-parks is asked to pay for parking, apart from disabled drivers. Car parking charges for staff at the hospital will rise by 20p a day from £1.50 to £1.70 from 1 November 2012 for people who pay daily. For colleagues who pay monthly, the cost will rise to £28.00 up from £26.00.
“The money we receive from car-parking charges is used to improve facilities on the hospital site, such as paying for new roads, improved car parks and better security, throughout the hospital,” Jeff added.
“We have promised that over the coming months we will invest more of the money received from car parking charges in cycle racks and shower facilities to support people cycling and walking into work,” he said.
Tony Ramsey, Chair of the Ipswich Hospital User Group which represents patients throughout the hospital said: “In an ideal world, the hospital would not have to charge for car-parking. The reality is that it does have to do so to pay for much needed improvements on the hospital access roads and to manage the car-parks in a safe and secure way. I feel these changes are sensible and have taken on board what people using the hospital feel”.