CAR parking charges at South West Acute Hospital has been increased by 14% to 80p per hour due to ‘inflation’. Notices have been placed on ticket machines throughout the car park to inform the public that there would be an increase of 10p for car parking.
The price of parking at SWAH has increased from 70p to 80p per hour, and for those who find themselves at the hospital for eight hours, the price has risen from £5.60 to £6.40.
A spokesman for the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) said, “The regional guidance on the operation and management of car parking on hospital sites provides for the need to increase charges in line with inflation. The Trust has applied an inflationary uplift from seventy pence per hour to eighty pence per hour in 2017 at both Altnagelvin hospital and the South West Acute Hospital, in recognition that the car parking hourly rate has not changed for five years. Any parking income is reinvested into providing, operating and maintaining the carparks at the hospital.”
The new increased charge now means that car parking at SWAH is double the price of parking in Enniskillen town centre but the Trust currently offers patients and visitors 832 free spaces, with 146 paid for spaces on the site.
Jill Weir, Branch secretary of Unison at South West Acute Hospital opposed the price increase especially for staff at the hospital.
“We have always and will continue to be opposed to car parking charges on a NHS hospital site. The price of 70p per hour was already unfair and the most expensive carpark in Fermanagh, and now it has been increased by over 14%.
“My concern as a union representative is that we still have no guarantees for staff, especially on a late shift during peak times, of a free parking space. Staff should not have to pay to come to work.”
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