Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Southern Trust opens consultation on Hospital parking charges

The Southern Trust is currently consulting on a proposal to change car parking charges at Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area hospitals.

The plans propose to decrease the charge for parking up to 70 minutes from £1.20 to 40p while longer stays of over 70 minutes but less than four hours will attract an increase of 20p.

Charges for stays of more than four hours will remain unchanged.

Hospital car parking charges were first introduced to the Southern Trust in 2009. Car parks closer to main hospital buildings are designated as charged car parks for the convenience of patients and visitors, while staff and those who do not wish to pay can use other parking areas around the site. The majority of car parking on both hospital sites remains free of charge.

Anita Carroll, Assistant Director for Functional Support Services explains the proposed plans: “Car parking is an ongoing challenge on our busy hospital sites and we are always looking for ways to improve accessibility within the limited space and resources available to us.

“Without this income, funding currently used for patient care would have to be used to maintain our car parks. The last change to car parking prices was in April 2015, when we increased the charges to help cover rising maintenance costs. “We have recently reviewed the use of car parks and believe that by reducing the rate for shorter periods, we will encourage a quicker turnover, allowing more people to avail of a parking space throughout the day. 

“As always, we welcome the views of those who use our car parks in making this decision and encourage patients, staff and visitors to share their views,” she added.

The proposed changes will not affect anyone eligible for free or concessionary parking under the DHSSPSNI Policy for Car Parking Provision and Management in the HSC Sector.

 You can have your say on the proposed changes by contacting: Anita Carroll, Assistant Director, Functional Support Services, Daisy Hill Hospital, 5 Hospital Rd, Newry, Co Down, BT35 8DR; telephone: 028 3756 2847 or email: before until Sunday February 16th.