"Rip off car park charges"

About: Heartlands Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

I would just like to say I felt ripped off regarding the car park charges. To charge £3. 75 for up to two hours car park is a rip off.

I can park in Solihull town centre for 4 hours and will be charged £4. 00, this is the same rate as parking in Birmingham city centre. In fact for £4. 00 you can park all day.

Before you say the trust does not set the charges due to it being out sourced to a private company, the trust do have some control as they sell the contract in the first place and could put restrictions on charges etc.

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Response from Mark Newbold, Chief Executive, Heart of England Foundation Trust

picture of Mark Newbold

Dear richard1

Thank you for posting, and I'm sorry you feel this way.

Parking charges are a really difficult issue to manage and we continually review our policies to try and be fair to all. We set the charges, but we have to cover the costs of managing the parking, land costs, security, lighting etc. We are broadly in line with other hospitals, and try to get the balance between short stay and longer stay charging (if one is decreased the other will increase). If we are too cheap then others will use the spaces (people working locally, shoppers etc), and this will mean that hospital visitors cannot find spaces.

There are concessions available for those needing to come frequently, and for those in receipt of benefits. At Heartlands we have just invested in a multi-storey car park for staff, freeing up more space for visitors. Another, decked car park, is in the planning stages. All of this has to be paid for through revenue. We aim to break even and not to make a surplus on parking.

Just a few points which I hope you find of interest. It is a really challenging issue, and one that I personally devote quite a bit of time to!

Best wishes, Mark

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