Hospital parking charges return in Preston and Chorley
Car parking charges are to be re-introduced at Preston and Chorley hospitals eight months after they were suspended due to the Covid crisis.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, which runs both the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble sites, announced today it would be bringing the charges back for patients and visitors from Monday because the car parks are getting busier.
But there was no word on whether staff parking charges would also be re-introduced at a time when medics are under pressure from the second spike in coronavirus cases.
The Trust is the latest in the North West to re-introduce fees for parking, following similar decisions taken by neighbouring trusts in East Lancashire, Morecambe Bay, Wigan, Blackpool and Lancaster.
Explaining the decision, a spokesperson at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “It has been a pleasure to provide free car parking to staff, visitors and patients during the last eight months.
"This has enabled our car parks to be used more flexibly and with less visitors on site, staff have sometimes made use of visitor car parking.
“However, in the winter period our hospitals are busier than ever, and in order to help ensure that patients and visitors can park on site, it has become necessary to re-introduce some car park management processes rather than continue with the first come first served approach adopted during the early stages of the pandemic.
"This is in line with surrounding acute trusts who are also reintroducing charges.
“A number of concessions are in place for patients and visitors – these are available on our website, and our staff are very good at ensuring that people are aware of these.”
Charges were suspended at Preston and Chorley in March as the Covid pandemic caused a dramatic fall in the numbers of people visiting the hospitals.