Tax on illness
SIR, - I agree with Peter Mason's comments about the parking charges at the City Hospital and it's the same story at Watford and Hemel Hempstead. Paying a steep charge so that you can attend for an out-patient appointment or for a blood test or to visit
SIR, - I agree with Peter Mason's comments about the parking charges at the City Hospital - and it's the same story at Watford and Hemel Hempstead. Paying a steep charge so that you can attend for an out-patient appointment or for a blood test or to visit someone in hospital seems like a tax on illness. These parking charges also cause major problems for local residents who find their roads becoming an extension of the hospital car park with staff, patients and visitors avoiding the charges by parking nearby. This has become a real headache for people in St Albans as the roads around the hospital get clogged up with cars - some left there all day long. The problem is made even worse because the NHS offices at 99 Waverley Road, just along from the City Hospital, don't have enough parking spaces for all the people who work there or attend meetings. Given the huge overspend facing the NHS in Herts, it doesn't seem likely that the Hospital Trust will listen to our complaints and remove the charges. However, like Mr Mason I would like to hear a convincing explanation of why they were introduced in the first place. On a slightly hopeful note for local residents, the district council is trying to talk to NHS managers about the possibility of a park-and-ride scheme for staff at least, which might reduce pressure in the area. Getting a dialogue going is proving a bit of a challenge but we will persevere. CLLR ROMA MILLS, St Albans District Council.