Hospital chiefs are changing the cost of parking - and it’s good and bad news for visitors.
From this Friday, October 20, Macclesfield Hospital will have four new tariffs which cover 24-hour a day, seven-days-a-week.
The good news for patients and visitors is that the amount of free parking has increased from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
And for those parking up to four hours the price has dropped from £4.40 to £3.50.
But the ‘simplified’ system is also bad news for those planning a short visit because the old charge of £2.20 for up to two hours parking has been replaced by a new charge - £3.50 - for anyone parking from 30 minutes to four hours.
Other negatives are that the cost of parking between four and 12 hours has increase from £5.50 to £6, while the weekly ticket has gone up from £11 to £12.
Parking for disabled motorists will remain free of charge but Blue Badge holders must ensure their vehicle is registered with the trust, as per existing arrangements.
Mark Ogden, director of finance for East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs Macclesfield Hospital, said: “These new simpler tariffs should be easier to follow for our patients and visitors and are more consistent with charges at other NHS trusts.
“While hospital parking charges will always prove a contentious issue, I can assure patients and visitors that 100% of the income from parking tariffs is retained by the trust and therefore ultimately reinvested in the vital services we provide.”
The new tariffs are:
A stay of up to 30 minutes will be free; parking for between 30 minutes and four hours will be £3.50; between four hours and 12 hours will be charged £6; a seven-day ticket will be £12.
Under the old system, which has been in place at the hospital since 2013, the charges have been for Monday to Friday visitors: £2.20 for up to two hours. £4.40 for between two and four hours, and £5.50 between four and 12 hours.
The former tariffs also had a flat rate for all parking of £2.20 at weekends, while a weekly ticket was £11.
The trust has also confirmed that the new tariffs do not involve any changes to the ParkingEye camera-based parking management system in operation at the Macclesfield site since 2015.