New parking charges at Norwich Community Hospital

Pay and display parking is to be reintroduced at Norwich Community Hospital.

People who use the Bowthorpe Road hospital's car park will be required to pay and display from next month, with bosses saying the system is being reintroduced in a bid to promote greener travel alternatives to cars.

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) runs the hospital and says it hopes the pay and display system will encourage people to limit the length of time that they use the spaces for, which will help to free up parking spaces at the increasingly busy hospital for when patients and visitors need them most.

The charges come into effect on Monday, June 6, following the installation of two solar-powered ticket machines this month.

All patients and visitors will be required to display a ticket in their vehicle while they are using the hospital car park. However, the first 20 minutes will be free to allow people to drop off or collect patients. For one hour, the charge will be �1, or �1.50 for two hours, up to three hours will be �2, up to four hours �3, up to six hours will be �4, and up to eight hours will be �10. It will cost �1 to park after 6pm and all day at weekends.

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People who have a blue badge will be able to park for free and patients who are required to stay at the hospital overnight and those receiving foot surgery at the hospital, which often requires long visits, will be able to park for a standard fee of �2. A parking patrol warden will be introduced and anyone using the car park without displaying a ticket will be liable to pay a fixed penalty.

NCH&C says activity at the hospital has increased significantly over the past 18 months with the development of a new 48-bed inpatient unit, a new podiatric surgery facility, and greater numbers of community-based services being located on site such as rehabilitation and podiatry services.

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Funds generated will be reinvested back into maintaining and improving both the car park and the hospital itself. Matt Colmer, NCH&C's director of finance and performance, said: 'We are reintroducing this policy to ensure the car park is carefully managed, with sustainability for the future and environmental commitments in mind. This will enable us to control the usage of the car park much more closely and ensure that as the hospital site plays an increasing role in the provision of health and care services in the community, the car park is prepared for increasing visitor numbers.'

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