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Residents in Sunderland want hospital parking charges scrapped

Sunderland residents want free parking at city hospitals.
Sunderland residents want free parking at city hospitals.
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Health bosses have announced a change to the parking system at Sunderland hospitals, but residents want charges scrapped.

From Monday a new 'pay on exit' parking system at Sunderland hospitals will be in place.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust are bringing in the changes for patient and visitor parking at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Sunderland Eye Infirmary and at The Children’s Centre on Durham Road, making it simpler for people to pay for their parking at the end of their visit.

The new ‘pay on exit’ kiosks will be situated near to all main entrances on the Sunderland Royal site, as well as at Sunderland Eye Infirmary and The Children’s Centre on Durham Road.

Using the latest touch screen technology, patients and visitors will be given multiple payment options, including the ability to pay by coins and notes, or to pay by card or contactless.
However, on the Sunderland Echo's Facebook page, residents in Sunderland say they would like to see all the charges scrapped.

John Gillon, said: "Listen to feedback and scrap charges. Profiteering."

Symonie Minnestronie, said: "I don’t think you should have to pay to park at a hospital! It’s disgusting especially for the staff."

Shannon Lindsley, said: "Could at least make it free for the staff of the hospital."

Jimmy Jackson, added: "About time it was free."

Kim Clark, said: "Rip off. There's no grace even for mothers in labour, thieves."

Hannah Maddison, said: "How about not having to pay at all?"

However, others welcomed the new system of paying, saying it would be easier.

Barby Lambton, said: "This system already gets used at the RVI it’s easy to use."

Geoffrey Maskell, said: "This proposal is a much easier and fair system, it works a treat at the Newcastle Freeman."

And, Wendy Skinner, added: "Anything gotta be better than what they have at minute."

The system uses automatic number plate technology which recognises when vehicles enter and later leave the trust’s car parks. It means people will only be charged for the time they have been parked.

The new charges will be: up to 20 minutes, free, up to 1 hour, £2, up to 2 hours, £3, up to 4 hours, £4.50 and up to 24 hours, £8.

Users can also get a weekly pass for £10.

A free 20-minute period allowing ‘pick-ups’ and ‘drop-offs' in designated areas will continue to be available and blue badge holders will also continue to be exempt from all car parking charges, but must register any vehicles used to visit the hospital sites.