Full parking charges are set to be reintroduced at Bath’s Royal United Hospital in the coming weeks.
The hospital trust suspended the charges in March as it restricted visitor numbers to prevent the spread of coronavirus, giving free access to staff.
In July, as the lockdown eased, the fees came in at half the normal level to help manage demand.
The number of people parking at the hospital continues to grow, so more controls are now needed.
Brian Johnson, the trust’s director of estates and facilities, recently told trust board members: “We’re proposing to make changes to car parking over the coming weeks.
“Through the Covid pandemic we’ve suspended a number of car parking services. We suspended all parking charges and opened up our staff car parks to provide free access for all staff.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean staff can always park because we have a limited number of spaces across our estate, available on a first come, first served basis.”
He said the charges were reintroduced at half the normal level to encourage staff to use the staff car parks. They were also asked to walk or cycle in.
Mr Johnson added: “We’re now moving into a new phase where we need to better manage parking on site.
“We’re looking to reintroduce some of the previous measures – our staff permit system and closure of the staff parking barriers, while encouraging staff to use park and stride and other forms of active travel.
“We’re also considering at what point in the coming weeks we may reintroduce the full parking charges for our visitor car parks.”
Parking charges at the RUH include:
- 20 minutes are free.
- Up to one hour is £1.00
- Up to two hours is £1.50
- Up to to four hours is £2.00
- Over four hours and up to £24 hours is £3.00
- And lastly a seven day ticket will cost £7.50.
The charges have not increased since 2011. The income covers the costs associated with providing onsite parking.
Extra income raised through car parking is invested straight back into the hospital and spent on direct patient care and services.
Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter