Hospital parking ‘still too difficult’

Hospital trusts in England are still making it ‘too difficult for people to pay to park’ according to new research.

A freedom of information request from motoring organisation the RAC showed that many offer no option to pay by credit or debit cards, and others do not allow drivers to pay on exit.

Just a third of trusts (33 per cent) that have some degree of paid-for parking offer a payment by card option at all their hospital sites, while a further quarter allow it at some of their sites. This means a large proportion of patients and visitors are still expected to carry loose change with them in order to pay to park.

Drivers’ payment options are also limited at many hospitals by the fact that a third do not allow them to pay for parking when they leave. This means drivers are forced to guess how long their visit to the hospital will be and pay for a fixed period of time – and then risk either paying for more parking than they need, or having to run out and buy another ticket to avoid getting a penalty notice. Pay-on-exit provision is offered at some sites by one in three hospital trusts, and at all sites by nearly a third.  

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “Anyone arriving at hospital, be they a patient or visitor, have far more important things to worry about than paying for parking. It is for that very reason that things should be made as stress-free as possible – and that includes taking the pain out of paying to park.”

The RAC is calling for hospitals in England to publish plans that set out when out-dated parking meters will be upgraded in line with the wishes of drivers, to help make the experience of patients and visitors better.

You can read the full results of the research here



Last medically reviewed: April, 2017 • April, 2020