Ipswich: Hospital bosses make u-turn after negative response to increased car park charges proposal

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital

Bosses at Ipswich Hospital have made a u-turn on controversial proposals to increase staff car parking prices.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that bosses at the Heath Road hospital had started a consultation into the matter, which was met with opposition from union leaders.

Unison called on the management at the hospital to axe any planned rises and said workers were “incensed” about the prospect of increasing charges.

Following a combined board meeting on Monday, a decision has now been made to scrap any changes for the coming year.

Following the meeting, Nick Hulme, CEO of Ipswich Hospital, said: “We made the decision to defer any changes to current rates for the next 12 months.

“The discussion about car parking included a wide range of issues from increases according to level, day rates, monthly rates, the impact salary sacrifice, and the possibility of a future to move to number plate recognition systems.

“We will consider all of these in more detail in the coming months.

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“The discussion also acknowledged the recent improvements in the car parking facilities on site.”

Unison regional organiser Yvonne Cleary said she was “absolutely delighted” with the decision.

“We lobbied with members across different groups in the hospital,” she said. “And 98% said there shouldn’t be any increase, and the poll in the paper helped.

“There has been public support for the staff.

“People said it was disgusting that money should be raised by car parking.

“People recognise they are providing vital services and they shouldn’t have to pay to do that.

“It’s a victory for common sense.

“It’s a public interest issue and affects residents around the hospital because people will try to park there instead of parking in the hospital.

“We have to work as hard as we can for these small victories, but it’s an important one.

“I’d just like to say thank-you for all the people who supported the staff in through the poll in the paper and the polls we had.”