‘Parking charges are deeply unfair’

Disabled blue badge holders now have to pay to park at the district's hospitals.
Disabled blue badge holders now have to pay to park at the district's hospitals.

MPs have vowed to fight “deeply unfair” plans to charge disabled blue badge holders to park at the district’s hospitals.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust brought in changes on August 1 that now sees them charges £2 for parking up to one hour and £2.80 for longer at Pontefract, Pinderfields and Dewsbury Hospitals.

But Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper, who is hoping to become the first female leader of the Labour party, and Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff have both said they will fight for the trust to reverse the decision.

Ms Cooper said: “These changes are deeply unfair on disabled patients who often find it much harder to use public transport and may also have to attend appointments at hospital more regularly.

“I’ve written to the Trust and I will be meeting with them to call on them to think again.

“We’ve always said that it causes patients real problems if they can’t get easily to hospital appointments or it costs them too much to go.

“I’ve been calling for a better shuttle service for a long time, so the shuttle is important.

“But it isn’t an option for lots of disabled people. The NHS shouldn’t be making money out of penalising the disabled in this way. Its deeply unfair.”

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff added her concern at the changes.

She said: “To receive information such as this, which will have a huge impact on many of my constituents, with less than 48 hours’ notice is completely unacceptable.

“I have requested a meeting with the chief executive of the trust and do not support the implementation of hospital parking charges for blue badge holders regardless of the trust’s deficit.”