Blue Badge holders will be charged £4 per visit for parking the Royal Surrey has decided.
The hospital is still struggling financially and the justification is that it needs to find ways to increase income and cut costs. As part of its justification is that other hospitals charge the disabled. I was not in favour of this change and said so and see no reason why the Royal Surrey should charge because others do – I would rather be on the side of the angels !! That having been said I do recognise that many holders of Blue Badges are not financially challenged and could afford the £4 just as much as many non--disabled patients some of whom are very hard pressed. I have therefore pressed the hospital to operate an effective scheme for waving the charge for those on benefits or otherwise in financial difficulties. This they will do.
Of course it will be necessary to have modified parking meters so that wheelchair users can reach buttons. These will be installed. I hope the hospital will consult with disabled patients and their representatives to ensure there are sufficient such machines and that the processes for waving charges operates efficiently, sensitively and smoothly. I will check in a few months.