Concerns raised over New Cross Hospital parking charges rise

Concerns have been raised by the National Pensioners Convention about an increase in car parking charges at a West Midlands hospital.

A £1 increase in charges at New Cross hospital, Wolverhampton, has come into effect for stays of up to two to five hours.

The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust said it had not raised public charging since 2005.

This was only the second rise in 15 years, the trust said.

A new £1 charge for up to one hour has also been introduced.

'Very large'

Asked about the £1 charge, National Pensioners Convention Wolverhampton branch president John Mellor said: "When you wait for various blood tests and X rays, when [are] you going to get in and out of hospital including New Cross in an hour?

"Virtually, I must say, never."

Mr Mellor said the hospital had "a very large catchment area".

He added: "People have travelled significant distances... They are feeling the [increased] fuel charges.

"Now to tell them they're going to have some increased parking charges is not going down too well."

'More flexible'

The trust charges £3 for two and three hours, £4 for four hours and £5 for five hours.

The trust described the new £1 fee as a "more flexible, lower car parking charge" and other changes as "a slight increase on other parking charges".

New Cross was "currently the same, or cheaper for its parking charges" compared with neighbouring trusts, it added.

In a statement, it said: "As the site is under increasing pressure for parking, it means the trust needs to encourage people to think differently about how they travel and consider alternative, more sustainable methods of transport, for example by using public transport."

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