Parking Charges At Queen Alexandra Hospital Increasing

It will soon be more expensive to park at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, England. This only island city in the UK is experiencing an increase in parking rates for its hospital for the second time in seven months. In June, the charge to park for up to one hour will increase 10p to £1.60, two hours of parking will increase 10p to £2.60, and an all-day parking pass will increase from £15 to £15.75

The hospital says it is not to blame because Carillion manages its parking facilities under a Private Finance Initiative arrangement. Carillion reported that the deal allows it to increase charges annually to align with the Retail Price Index, which was 5.3 percent in March.

The company reported that it did not increase fees from 2004 to 2010 and that the upcoming increase, which was delayed from April until June, is lower than the RPI.

Carillion stated that individuals with concentrated or long-term parking requirements can still take advantage of the special rates included in the validation scheme. The company emphasized that those requiring hospital services are top priority. Charges for parking at the hospital are below or align with those at other general hospitals and are lower than area council car parks.

Patient spokesperson Jock McLees with Portsmouth LINK reported that the increase was an “insensitive” move following so closely to the 2010 increase. His organization feels that parking at the hospital locations should be free. It is much different to pay for parking to walk on the beach than to attend a life-essential medical appointment, he said.

Cash-strapped Brits are experiencing enough problems paying their car loans, in light of rising gasoline prices and a VAT increase earlier this year. Increasing parking charges may make vehicle ownership unaffordable for some people.

Carillion surely earns money from parking charges but will not reveal how much.