Staff face hike in parking fees at Shropshire hospitals
Staff at the county’s two main hospitals say they have been told their parking fees could rise by up to 20 per cent.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, informed employees of the changes in a letter which said it would come into force on April 1.
The trust assured staff in its lowest-paid brackets they would not have to pay more, while the highest-paid members of staff will pay an extra £5 a month.
It comes after higher charges were introduced for visitors in November 2017 when a new hourly pay structure came into effect.
A specialist nurse, who has worked at the trust for 28 years and who did not wish to be named, said the increase for staff was disproportionate in light of a real terms fall in income over recent years.
Her pay grade means her monthly permit price will rise from £15 to £18, she said.
The trust has defended the rise, which is the first in four years, and said it will help ease parking problems at the hospitals.
Julia Clarke, director of corporate governance at SaTH, said: “The increase in the cost of staff car park permits is linked with the rise in public charges and will not be reviewed again until 2021.
"This is the first increase since 2014, and the new prices remain below the West Midlands average for NHS staff car parking.
“For bands six and seven (between £26,565 and £41,787 per annum), the increase is 75p a week. There is no increase for staff on the lowest incomes (under £20,000).
"As a trust, we also are committed to becoming more sustainable and one of the areas that we are working on is travel.
"We are investing in helping staff get to work using alternative means to cars – by providing secure cycle shelters and showers.
“We also have over 300 members of staff who have registered for our free LiftShare service and have negotiated discounts with Arriva for public transport.
“As well as being better for the environment, it will also help to ease pressure on our car parks and enable easier public parking.”