Parking charges reintroduced for staff, patients and visitors at Harrogate District Hospital
Parking charges are set to be reintroduced at Harrogate District Hospital next week after being put on hold at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
With more services and clinics now back up and running at the hospital and a greater need for parking from a range of patients, the decision has been made to put the charges back in place.
A statement from the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust reads: "As more and more of our clinics and services at Harrogate District Hospital are re-established, there is a greater need for parking spaces for patients and visitors. For a few weeks now, we’ve been receiving feedback from patients and visitors who have told us about the challenges they’ve had finding a parking space on site.
"Parking has always been a challenge for both patients and colleagues, and there is no easy solution to this. However, we do have to prioritise much of the limited parking we have for patients who need to come to hospital."
From Wednesday, September 23, car parking charges for patients, visitors and staff will be reintroduced. The car parks will be assigned as they were prior to the pandemic, with the top level of the main car park reverting back to being for patients and visitors and staff parking no longer permitted.
All staff car parks on site will be available with a permit at the usual monthly rate.
The Trust added: "We know that this will be unwelcome., but we trust you understand the reasons for why we are reintroducing parking charges.
"Parking at hospitals will always be a challenge and there is never going to be one solution that everyone is happy with. But we have to do this to make parking as stress-free as possible for our patients and visitors, protecting spaces for them and to make the benefit of staff car parking as fair as possible."
It comes after some groups across the district have previously called for the free parking to be extended.
The GMB union has urged the Government to U-turn on its decision to begin charging hospital staff once again, with the Lib Dems also calling for the parking charges to be covered by the Government indefinitely.