Parking charges go up at Medway hospital
Increased parking charges come into force at Medway Maritime Hospital today (Tuesday).
The minimum charge period has been extended from one to two hours but drivers will have to pay a minimum of £2.
The charges had previously been £1.50 to park for one hour, £2 for two hours, £2.50 for three hours, £3 for four hours, £4 for up to six hours and £5 for 24 hours.
Now motorists will pay £2 for two hours, £3 for up to three hours, £4 for up to four hours and £5 for four to 24 hours.
The move comes after the hospital was accused of discriminating against disabled patients and visitors.
Campaigner Sue Groves took legal action against the Trust at the end of last year after it introduced charges for blue badge holders in July. Disabled drivers had previously been able to park at the hospital for free.
Disability campaigner Sue Groves
Mrs Groves, of Hampshire Close, Chatham, said the fees were unfair because disabled people take longer to get to their appointments than other patients, so were likely to be paying more to park.
Following Mrs Groves’ case, the hospital trust agreed to extend the minimum charge period from one to two hours for all users but said the move was specifically targeted to help the disabled.
A hospital spokesman said of the changes: “We offer a range of concessions to make car parking accessible for all our patients and visitors and these remain unaffected.
"Any surplus income, after running costs of the car park have been met, is put directly back into patient care.”
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