HARD-up doctors and nurses have slammed hospital bosses for hiking charges for them to park at work.
Medical staff on as little as £22,000-a-year currently have to pay £17.50 per week.
But the cost of leaving their cars in the staff car parks is going up to £27 per week – a rise of 54 per cent.
The new charges are being put into force by the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.
It affects St Richard’s Hosptial, in Chichester, Southlands Hospital, in Shoreham-by-sea and Worthing Hospital.
An online petition already has 1,300 backers.
Hospital chiefs said the car parks aren’t big enough and hikes fund greener ways for staff to get to work.
Maternity ward worker Sally Laatz said: “Our trust has decided to massively increase the cost for staff to park onsite.
“The alternative to parking onsite is a park and ride.
“For many of us if we used this system would actually be travelling farther every day.
“How green is that?
“Also this would add a significant amount of time to an already long and arduous day.”
One staff member said: “We have no appreciable pay rise and now they want more parking money.
“We simply can’t afford it.
“Why should we pay for the privilege of working?”
Another said: “NHS staff should receive free parking.”
David Jones, director of estates and facilities at the Trust said it was the first price rise in ten years
He said: “There are nearly 10,000 people working in our three hospitals.
“Our staff car parks have been over-subscribed for many years, leaving the large majority of staff have to park off-site or travel to work by other means.
“As our Trust continues to grow and the roads around our hospitals become more congested and polluted by traffic generally, we all need to take action to reduce the impact travel to and from work had on the environment.
“Our Green Travel Plan aims to do that by making it easier for staff to choose alternative means of transport.
“Paying more will never prove popular, but we have done our best to ensure the new charges are fair and compare favourably to other trusts and local authority car parking.
Last June, nurses at Kettering General Hospital, Northants, were told their daily charge was being raised from £8.20 to £20 per day.
It was to help fund a new car park.
In April, 3,000 medical staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn, Norfolk were told they’d have to pay more on staff car park charges.
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The hike – from £22 to £28 per week- wiped out their proposed pay rise.
In the same month it was revealed Edgware Community Hospital, north west London and Birmingham Children’s Hospital charged staff the most.
Their staff car parks were £2 per hour – £80 for a 40-hour working week.
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