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Lansley defends NHS parking fees


2 May, 2008  

The UK’s Shadow Health Secretary has claimed patient care could suffer if hospital car parking charges are scrapped across England.

At the start of May free car parking began around 120 out of 130 NHS hospitals and units in Wales. The rest, where parking is run by private companies, are reducing costs from June until contracts expire.

Ministers in Wales have said they want to end the “unfair expense”.

Mr Lansley has called for individual English trusts to be able to decide on the issue for themselves.

“I’m not going to be in favour of decentralisation, or greater autonomy for foundation trusts in particular, and then tell them how to run their car parking,” he said.

Last year Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Mr Lansley’s Cambridge constituency, raised the most cash from car parking across the NHS, raising £2,139,074 from visitor parking and £419,559 from staff.

Defending these figures Mr Lansley said it had a good system in place and “behaved in a very responsible fashion”.

Mr Lansley said a “heavily discounted season ticket” was available for parking at Addenbrooke’s and said the £2m raised went towards building new car parks, providing buses and security.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Addenbrooke’s Hospital