I’ve had half a dozen emails or so from constituents prompted by the Fair Fuel Campaign demanding an end to hospital car parking charges, which –although fewer than half NHS facilities levy them- raised £174 million last year.
It seems fair to me to exempt the disabled and people with chronic conditions, such as patients requiring kidney dialysis for hours on several days per week, but I would be very reluctant to see a ban on all such parking charges.
Some hospitals need the money, and some that are close to town centres would attract shoppers if they made free spaces available.
In any event, car parks cost money to maintain. They have an ‘opportunity cost’ in terms of the other uses the land might be put to. Is it reasonable to expect everyone collectively to foot the bill rather than those who drive and park there?
After all, some patients and their visitors make use of public transport.