Hospitals should look again at parking
WHAT'S the most noticeable difference in treatment between going to visit a hospital in Wales and one in Bristol?
It's the fact the latter hits you hard in the pocket every time you visit. Because in Bristol all major NHS hospitals charge you to park a car. In Wales they have scrapped charges.
This stark disparity does need examining because we're talking about millions of pounds in parking charge revenues accruing here.
No one can argue that parking controls need to be in place in any establishment like this where, especially in Bristol, commuters could easily take an unfair advantage of free spaces.Surely, though, it can be administered without imposing a significant hourly charge?
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A required presence at hospital, whether as patient or visitor, is rarely any cause for celebration. Forking out for a parking place merely adds a slightly distasteful strand to the situation, often seeming like a tax on the sick and their families.
This impression is even harder to dispel, too, when you see the amount of cash which floods into Bristol hospitals' coffers from their car parks.
Why not try lowering the charge and putting a daily cap on that cost? That way they would still get some income and those who have to pay might feel a little bit better about it.