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PARKING COSTS TRIPLE FOR HOSPITAL STAFF; 220% rise for monthly permits.

Byline: NICK LAVIGUEUR News Reporter nick@examiner.co.uk

THOUSANDS of hospital workers are set to be hit in the pockets when their parking costs triple.

Doctors, nurses and other health workers at HRI and CRH have been paying PS5 per month for their permits.

But health chiefs at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, are set to impose a 220% increase to PS16 per month for full time staff.

The rises, which begin in March, will also hit part-time staff.

They are being hit with the same 220% rise, increasing their permits from PS2.50 to PS8 per month.

There are currently 2,225 staff using the permit scheme, potentially netting the Trust an extra PS293,700 per year, if all sign up for the new permit.

One angry ex-nurse wrote to the Examiner saying: "Nurses at HRI have been awarded a 1% pay rise...does this [rise] seem fair?" Documents published by the Trust reveal the last staff increase in parking charges was in April 2005.

Since that time the Trust has spent PS1m on upgrading car parks at the two hospitals.

It has installed a new entry scheme, resurfaced the sites and upgraded its CCTV facilities.

The Trust says it has also compared its fees with other hospital sites and found they were all much higher.

A Trust spokesman defended the inflation busting increases.

He said: "This is the first charges increase for staff since 2005 and only brings us in line with other staff charges at other Trusts.

"There was full advance discussion with all our staff representatives and the rise will help cover the cost of providing safe parking for everyone."

The moves comes shortly after the Trust also raised prices for members of the public.

While the free period in place at both HRI and CRH has been increased from 30 to 45 minutes, short term fees have been boosted from PS1.50 to PS2 for up to two hours parking.

The rise is even greater for four hours, from PS2.50 to PS3.70, a 48% rise.

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| PARKING CHANGES: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 28, 2013
Words:354
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