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Parking charges for blue badges

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2:39pm 25th April 2018

From next week, blue badge holders will have to start paying for parking at East Lancashire hospitals.

The changes come in from the 1st of May.

Disabled people will have to pay the same charges as everyone else - £1.90 for up to three hours, and £3.50 for between eight and 24 hours.

Royal Blackburn, Burnley General, Pendle Community, Clitheroe Community and Accrington Victoria Community will all be affected.

ELHT divisional general manager for estates and facilities, James Maguire, has been defending the move;

"The decision to implement this change was not taken lightly and means that all patients and visitors - including Blue Badge holders - will pay the same rate".

Trust bosses say any extra cash from Blue Badge parking charges will be reinvested to improve patient care.

Russ McLean, from the East Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said they had been contacted by patients unhappy at the move.

He said the group could not endorse the decision to charge blue badge holders but understood why they were being introduced;

“Hospital car park charging is an emotive issue and in an ideal world there should be free parking for everyone at all hospitals – as indeed there is in certain areas of the UK.

“The PVG feels that disabled drivers should and can reasonably expect to be able to park closer to an entrance and the trust appears to have complied with this expectation.

“We are conscious that ELHT has one of the lowest car parking charges in England and we would implore the trust to keep any charges to an absolute minimum.

“We would respectfully remind them that in Pennine Lancashire we have a huge number of areas of social and financial deprivation and a higher than average number of elderly and frail patients.”

royal blackburn hospital

Earlier this week, the trust opened a new 500-space car park at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

ELHT had estimated it was short of around 250 car parking spaces at the site, a figure which is expected to rise as the hospital delivers more services.

The car park project was a joint partnership between Blackburn with Darwen Council and the trust.

The 500-space car park will be run by ELHT on behalf of the council.

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