Stephen Metcalfe MP: speaks out against unfair hospital car parking charges
Local MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe spoke out recently against “unfair and unfathomable” hospital car parking charges. Speaking in yesterday’s Daily Express, he backed the national campaign calling for an end to what has become a “stealth tax on the poor and the vulnerable”.
Stephen Metcalfe commented: “The national average for one day’s parking is just over £7. One hospital in Bristol charges £12 for 4 hours and another in Crawley demands £25 a day. The charges are also not transparent. No-one knows what the money is spent on, or why hospitals increase the charges year after year.
For those who say car parking charges are vital income for hospitals, they need to answer why 25 per cent of hospitals charge nothing at all, and why there is such variation between not only regions but even neighbouring hospitals.
It is clear that with fewer bureaucrats, and extending the use of generic drugs where possible, NHS hospitals would have enough money to scrap these fees without affecting patient care.”
Stephen Metcalfe was also particularly critical about the impacts that these charges have on both older people and cancer patients. He commented: “Macmillan has found that 10 per cent of hospitals offer cancer patients no discount and continue to charge them the full rate of parking. This is despite the fact that for many people with cancer it is essential they use a car, as immunity problems make using public transport dangerous.”
“This stealth tax must go and hospital bosses need to stop using vulnerable patients as easy revenue”