Revenue from car parking increases by nearly a quarter at Wigan's hospitals

Wigan’s hospital bosses have explained why revenue from car parking shot up by nearly a quarter last year.
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The latest NHS estates data reveals a 50 per cent increase in parking revenue nationwide, totalling £145.9m in 2023, up from £97.9m the previous year.

Analysis by personal finance website The Grade found the revenue at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) was £497,207 in 2022-23 – up 23 per cent from £404,019 in 2021-22.

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Wigan Infirmary's car park on Freckleton StreetWigan Infirmary's car park on Freckleton Street
Wigan Infirmary's car park on Freckleton Street
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While hospital car parking charges are sometimes viewed as contentious, bosses have explained the increased revenue is due to a pause on fees for patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

A trust spokesman said: “WWL’s pricing aims to be as fair and equitable as possible for all car park users. The standard fee being £3 for up to two hours, with the first 30-minute drop-off free of charge. There are also a number of concessions available for those who most need them.

"Income from car parking charges, after VAT is paid, is used to cover the cost of providing parking and running costs, which include maintenance, lighting, energy, business rates and security services.

“The reported increase of 23 per cent of income (increase from 2021/22 to 2022/23) is as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic when charges had not been levied within the previous financial year for patient parking. As Covid-19 restrictions were eased, there was an increase to patient numbers and visitors attending our services. Car parking charges were also re-introduced in August 2022 following suspension of these charges in March 2020. A result of these changes would show a disproportionate percentage increase in the report from the previous year.”

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While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have scrapped hospital car parking charges completely, they remain in England, despite the 2019 Conservative manifesto promising to end these “unfair hospital parking charges”.

A spokesman for The Grade said: “After a hiatus during the pandemic, parking charges are back with a vengeance. For many vulnerable individuals and their caregivers, these fees represent an unavoidable expense, effectively acting as a tax on both the sick and those who support them.”

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