Tough new parking rules are to be introduced at hospitals in Wales after patients complained they were struggling to find spaces for their cars.
The move is aimed at preventing people abusing free car parking five months after charges were scrapped at most sites.
Wrexham Maelor Hospital, in North Wales, plans to charge people GBP 70 if they park for more than two hours without an appointment. And to stop students, shoppers and commuters parking at Singleton Hospital, in Swansea, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust is considering introducing a token system.
Free hospital parking was one of the Welsh Assembly Government’s flagship policies. It has recently announced plans to copy the move in some Scottish hospitals.
Chris Thomas, from the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Free car parking was a really good idea for patients but it is causing horrendous problems for patients because it has become a free-for-all.
“Patients are struggling to find a parking space and we have seen that some patients have raised blood pressure by the time they get to their hospital appointment. Singleton is between the Wales National Pool and the university, which has pay-and-display parking, so everyone parks at the hospital because it is free.”
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