Disgust at hospital plan to charge for parking

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:31 10 June 2010

THE announcement that free parking at Exmouth hospital is to be scrapped by Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) has been met with disgust by the community. Some patients who use the car park when visiting the Claremont Grove health centre see the charges as a

THE announcement that free parking at Exmouth hospital is to be scrapped by Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) has been met with disgust by the community.Some patients who use the car park when visiting the Claremont Grove health centre see the charges as a levy to see their doctor. Devon PCT said it was introducing the measures to prevent abuse of its car park, promote greener methods of travel and car-sharing. The Journal this week asked Exmouth what it thought of the decision to pay to park.Jacquie Langley, 46, of Bradham Lane, said: "They should find ways of doing it so it's only at the hospital, not for people going to see their doctor. "If they are going to have charges, then they are going to have to police it."Taonfik Cheber, 52, of Churchill Road, said: "It doesn't matter what we say, we can't do anything about it. "They do what they want. It should be free. It's not fair really."Dave Morley, 40, from Portland Avenue, said: "There's a notice up in the doctors saying it's not their fault."I think it's disgusting to make people pay. I walked there this week because I didn't want to pay."It's going to be as bad as the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital - you queue up for a parking space, then they fleece you."A 44-year-old healthcare professional, who did not want to give his name, said he understood the NHS need to raise extra revenue, but the England-Scotland divide of free and paid-for prescriptions, and care for the elderly, was unfair.Once the charges have been set later this month, hospital League of Friends volunteers and some staff will be exempt from paying.The PCT believes charging drivers will prevent abuse of the hospital car park - clamping down on people who leave vehicles in hospital grounds instead of the town's paying car parks.The pay-to-park plan will also be rolled out at Budleigh Salterton Hospital.Patients and visitors leaving their cars at the Claremont Grove site could be forced to pay out up to £1.40 for up to a two-hour stay once the charges are in place.The PCT said the charges would be in-line with the town's car parks.

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