Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin calls for action on sky-high hospital parking charges

Dudley MP Ian Austin has told Government Ministers to take action on sky high hospital parking charges.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Austin called on the government to work with hospital bosses to find a way of cutting parking charges for regular hospital visitors.

Health Minister Ben Gummer replied that hospitals have been issued guidance to help regular visitors with the cost of parking.

Austin is stepping up his campaign after the company running the car parks at Russells Hall Hospital put charges up by as much as 50 per cent for a short stay.

Parking for up to 30 minutes now costs £1.50 up from £1, an hour costs £2.60 up from £2 and three hours is up to £4.60 from £4. Long stay parking for up to 24 hours has risen by just 10p and now costs £5.60.

Austin has campaigned against parking charges ever since he was first elected in 2005 and has pushed for regulations to prevent rapid rises as hospitals come under increased financial pressure.

Ian Austin said:

“Like any other local family we queue up at Russells Hall when we’re ill, so I know how parking charges can rack up quickly – that’s why I have always campaigned against these charges.

“Lots of people in Dudley have got in touch with me to say how frustrating it is to have to spend so much on parking when going to the hospital for an appointment or to visit loved ones.

“These fees often hit vulnerable people at a time when they may already be facing a fall in their income, and I want them cut.

“The government needs to take a hands-on approach to tackle this issue so I’ll keep pushing for action to bring down parking prices for patients.”

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