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MP aims to outlaw hospital car park charges for sick and staff

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Robert Halfon MP
Robert Halfon MP

MP campaigns against hospital car park charges for patients and staff

A campaign to abolish car parking charges for patients at Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital and others across the country has been launched by Conservative MP Robert Halfon.

In the House of Commons yesterday (Tuesday) the Harlow member launched a new parliamentary bill to abolish the practice at the Hamstel Road hospital used by Bishop’s Stortford patients. Charges are also levied at the Herts and Essex Hospital in Haymeads Lane, Bishop’s Stortford.

Before he tabled the early day motion, he wrote on the ConservativeHome website: “It was never envisaged that people with cars would end up paying for the NHS, but drivers are still charged extortionately to park at NHS hospitals in England.

“No-one goes to hospital by choice; no-one chooses to be ill, and we rely on our doctors and nurses to look after us. Being admitted to hospital or visiting a suffering family member is an already stressful situation and no one should be expected to worry about high parking charges at the same time. It is just as bad that doctors and nurses have to pay these excessive fees.”

He said on average drivers still had to pay almost £40 to park weekly – or £7 daily. Parents of premature babies will on average be charged over £250 in parking fees.”

Mr Halfon added: “Hospital car parking affects everyone who uses the NHS. We cannot say, in good faith, that the NHS is free at the point of access if people face extortionate and unfair car parking fees to get to their hospital appointments, go to work in our vital public services or visit sick relatives.

Rather than allowing drivers to fund hospital deficits through this stealth tax, we must scrap hospital car parking charges to ensure the NHS really is free at the point of access for all.”

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