Weston General cashing in up to £1.4k every day by charging staff to park
PUBLISHED: 17:25 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 07:10 18 May 2017
Staff at Weston General Hospital are having to pay £200 a year just to park at work, but still struggle to get a space.
The hospital is run by Weston Area Health NHS Trust, which employs 1,756 people, but its Grange Road site has just 765 parking spaces.
A total of 593 spaces are designated for staff use, but the Trust charges its staff 10p an hour to park within its Weston-super-Mare site, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.
The charge means the Trust could be raking in as much as £9,800 a week from its staff parking charges alone, though a spokesman said the 10p charge is intended to ‘encourage other active travel methods to and from work’.
They added that any revenue from both visitor and staff parking is invested into security, safety and maintenance.
Parking charges apply to all staff, 24-hours a day, and not even the Trust’s top bosses are allocated a free space.
If every one of the hospital’s staff car parking spaces were full, the Trust would make £59.30 from its employees every hour – which equates to a little more than £1,400 in each 24-hour period.
Trust employees are however charged at a hugely reduced rate; the general public is given their first 30 minutes free, but must then pay £2.10 for up to one hour, £3.20 for up to two hours or £4.20 for anything longer than that.
A hospital spokesman said: “(The staff parking charge) was established as a reasonable and affordable rate for staff who will be paying to park up to 40 hours a week and over, if they are on call.
“Clearly in a hospital we need to make sure staff have access to parking 24/7, but even with allocated spaces we know staff still struggle to park on site and park outside of Trust premises.”
The hospital offers a cycle-to-work scheme, free bike maintenance sessions, free cycle storage and cycle and changing facilities to encourage people to cycle to work.
There are also bus stops at the site as well as discounts on fares available for hospital staff.