‘Staff shouldn’t have to pay to park at Weston hospital’, say readers

Weston General Hospital apologises for 22-hour wait for bed.

Weston General Hospital apologises for 22-hour wait for bed. - Credit: Archant

Social media users are calling for staff parking charges to be scrapped at Weston General Hospital after it was revealed employees forked out almost £150,000 to park their vehicles.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) collected more than £145,000 in parking fees from staff in the 12 months preceding March 2018.

Visitors and patients attending hospital appointments must also pay to park at the Uphill site.

They spent a further £322,090, taking the overall total income to £477,100.

WAHT introduced charges for staff in 2011, saying it was not financially sustainable to continue subsidising for its employees’ parking.

A WAHT spokesman added: “Staff parking charges apply to all trust staff at the rate of 10p per hour up to a maximum of 80p a day.

“The money from the charges is used for maintenance of car parks and security and we believe it is the lowest charge at any hospital site in the South West.

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“A review of the current parking arrangements is taking place, including travel options supporting sustainability, but has not yet concluded.”

Many people took to social media to share their view.

Howard Fisher commented: “No-one should have to pay to park at work.

“Peoples’ incomes are being squeezed enough and they many have no choice but to use their car due to the nature of their shift pattern and public transport is not an option for them.”

Bex Lynch wrote: “Most people working in town have to pay to park their car and anyone riding public transport has to pay for that.

“Someone has to pay those charges, and I would rather it came from car parking fees rather than out of patient care funds.”

Belinda Marney said the staff charges ‘have turned Uphill into a car park as people can’t afford to pay’.

Janine Ball said: “I turned a job down at the hospital and this is one of the reasons why. I had to pay £200 per year to park my car and I couldn’t believe it.”

Mel James wrote: “Without out the staff there is no hospital.

“Stop being so greedy and remove the staff parking fees not just at Weston General Hospital but all hospitals – it’s ridiculous charging them to park.”

To join the discussion, log onto www.facebook.com/wsmercury or www.twitter.com/wsmercury