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Hospitals told to cut parking costs

Hospitals in the UK have been told to cut their parking costs for certain groups under new government guidelines.

Relatives of those who were seriously ill or had to stay in hospital for long periods of time should be given free or reduced cost parking, according to ministers.

It was also suggested that concessions should be offered to people with disabilities and NHS staff whose shift patterns means they can’t use public transport.

In order for motorists to only pay for the time they use in the car park, the guidelines also recommended hospitals should use ‘pay-on-exit’ schemes.

With an average of £20 a day and more than £130 a week, London had the highest charges. The lowest charges were in the East Midlands, where parking costs were £3.50 per day and £11 per week.

"Patients and families shouldn't have to deal with the added stress of unfair parking charges,” comments health secretary Jeremy Hunt who had come under pressure from Conservative backbenchers to put an end to ‘rip-off’ costs.

"These clear ground rules set out our expectations, and will help the public hold the NHS to account for unfair charges or practices."