Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Hospital parking costs overhauled

Derriford Hospital
The changes to visitor car parking tariffs will come into force in May

Car parking fees for visitors to Plymouth's Derriford Hospital are to rise in May to help cover the costs of providing spaces on the site.

Motorists used to pay £2.30 for up to four hours and £3 for longer. Soon they will pay £3.30 for more than two hours rising to £8 for a stay of eight hours.

However, for a six-month trial period those who stay for less than 45 minutes will be able to park for free.

Staff parking charges were increased in February 2009.

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Derriford site, agreed to the new charges at a meeting on Friday.

Extra spaces

The trust said the new tariffs were introduced in response to requests from patient groups and elected councillors across Devon and Cornwall who wanted more flexibility in the time periods for which charges apply.

However, providing car parking costs the trust about £1.7m each year and it said the current income received from parking did not cover the amount spent on providing the parking for both staff and the public.

The new charging scheme coincides with an extra 400 spaces being made available for patients and visitors - bringing the total number of public car parking spaces at the hospital to more than 1,200.

A total of 230 spaces were created this month and a further 170 will be released by the end of May.

The extra spaces for patients and visitors were made available by moving more staff off-site to park and ride sites.



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