Patients and staff face parking fees at new Cromer hospital

Patients and staff will have to pay for parking at Cromer's new �15m hospital when it opens next summer.

The move puts it on a par with its 'mother ship' Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and will cover the cost of providing and maintaining the spaces which each cost �1,000 a year to run.

Bosses say it will also stop day trippers and shoppers using them as free parking for the town centre.

The patient charges are up to �6 for a maximum five-hour stay, while staff in two pay bands face paying either �14.68 or �7.47 a month. The new fees start on July 2 next year when the new car parks open.

Hospital spokesman Andrew Stronach said: 'We have spent significant sums of money landscaping and providing secure, service spaces.'

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The number of patient spaces was also increasing from 30 and five disabled, to 47 and 10 disabled.

Kidney patients would continue to get free parking, and stays under 30 minutes would also be exempt.

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The fees are �2 for up to three hours, �4 up to four hours, and �6 up to five. Patients whose appointments last longer than three hours can also have their tickets validated for the minimum charge of �2.

The higher staff charges will be paid by workers with a salary of more than �17,003.

Mr Stronach added: 'In the past a lot of spaces have been used by non hospital visitors which disadvantages patients.

'Our charges are the lowest in the region, and any profit goes towards NHS clinical services.'

The new hospital, mostly paid for by an �11m legacy left by millionairess Sagle Bernstein, is currently under construction on the site of the existing one, with departments due to move in March, and demolition of the remaining old sections before being fully functional in July.

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