Oxford hospitals have announced steep increases in parking charges from the beginning of July. One hour goes up from the present £1 to £1.40 and a three-hour stay goes up from £3 to £5.60.
The hospitals involved in Oxford are the John Radcliffe (743 parking spaces), the Churchill (410 spaces), the Nuffield Orthopedic (192) and the Horton in Banbury (239).
The price increases are particularly tough for patients from outside Oxford and those having treatment on a long-term basis.
The Oxford University Hospital Trust has justified the increases on the grounds that these are the first since 2006 and that parking services have to be self-funded so as not to take money away from other health-care services. The Trust points out that there is some free parking for the disabled and for long-term patients and that visitors and carers for long-stay patients can buy a weekly ticket for £8-£10 at the beginning of each week.