Hospital bosses have announced details of a new parking regime which they say has been created after taking thousands of responses to a consultation exercise into account.
The West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs hospitals in Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans, revealed new patient and visitor car parking charges today, as well giving details about what the future holds for the bus service which runs between its three hospital sites.
New parking charges which will come into effect on August 1 are as follows:
Up to 30 minutes: free (in designated bays)
Up to one hour: £2
One to two hours: £4
Two to three hours: £6
Three to four hours: £7.50
Four to six hours: £12
Six to 24 hours: £15
Weekly ticket: £20
There will be no charge for holders of the Blue Badge for disabled drivers and dedicated priority spaces for disabled patients and visitors will be set aside.
A revised range of parking discounts will be on offer to people who visit hospitals for regular treatment, such as cancer patients or those needing renal dialysis.
The intersite bus, mainly used by staff, will continue to run between the Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans sites at a flat rate of £2 per journey.
Priority will be given to staff, and bosses stress that this is not a public bus service, but people will be able to buy tickets from the car parking pay and display machines on all sites.
Trust chief executive Samantha Jones said: “Using what patients and local people told us, we have worked with our staff, staff representatives, car parking contractor and a number of local bus providers to come up with the best possible options for future transport and car parking.
“It was clear from the listening exercise that the majority of people wanted a car parking charging structure based on an hourly rate, so we have worked with our car parking contractor to come up with a pricing structure which is reasonably priced for those using the car parks and also covers the cost of running and maintaining the car parking facilities, including security and lighting.
“The depth of feeling about the need for an intersite bus service was also clearly apparent.
“We have worked hard with local bus providers to come up with a service which is affordable to users and manageable within our limited resources.
“We do hope that people will fully utilise it to ensure that it continues to be financially viable.
“In addition, the intersite bus service helps to support our commitment to providing sustainable facilities, as well as ease the pressure on the current car parking provisions on each site.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in this complex, but very worthwhile exercise.
“As we said at the start of this process, there are no easy answers, but I hope we now have transport and car parking facilities which better meets the requirements of everyone who needs to use them.”
More than 3,000 people took part in the consultation exercise in March and April