Anger as hospital car parks continue to rake in millions using confusing payment systems : EXPRESS

HOSPITALS across the country are continuing to rip off visitors by forcing them to overpay for parking, research has revealed.

hospital parking car parks charges nhs trusts department of health

Despite a Government crackdown prompted by a Daily Express crusade, operators are using out-of-date parking meters which cause visitors to pay more than they need.

The RAC found that, of those charging, four in 10 trusts in England offer no option to pay by credit or debit card.

As a result, customers have to carry loose change and to guess how long they will be staying – nearly always paying too much to avoid the risk of incurring a penalty charge.

Many trusts are believed to be raking in up to £3million a year from car park charges.

The findings were slammed by the RAC. Spokesman Simon Williams said: “In the 21st century, it is unreasonable to expect drivers to have to estimate how long their visit to hospital might take.

“Payment on exit, while perhaps not appropriate for smaller hospital car parks, should be rolled out as far as it is practicable.”

Campaign group The Patients Association has branded the overcharging of patients and hospital visitors as “morally wrong”.

Trustee Dr Mike Smith welcomed the report.

He said: “Our helpline has received calls regarding this unacceptable overcharge, which we regard as simply a tax on ill health.”

Macmillan Cancer Support also warned that cancer patients in particular regularly need to attend hospital so unaffordable charges leave many out of pocket.

READ MORE: EXPRESS

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