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MP acts on disabled parking charges

16th July 2012
MP acts on disabled parking charges

Local MP Gordon Henderson is backing disabled people who are now being asked to pay to park their car when they visit Medway Maritime Hospital.

Mr Henderson stepped in when he received complaints from a number of disabled people who live in his Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency.

The decision to extend car parking charges to disabled people was taken by the Medway NHS Foundation Trust who claimed it was to make fairness around concessions and to generate additional income for the Trust.

The hospital has assured patients that any surplus income, after running costs of the car park are met, is put directly back into patient care and the improvement of services for local people.

Mr Henderson said:

“Whilst there is an argument for treating all motorists the same, whether or not they are disabled, my concern is for those disable people for whom no other transport is suitable and for whom their car is the only way they can actually get to Medway Maritime other than by ambulance.

“I raised my concerns at a meeting last week with Denise Harker, the newly appointed Chairwoman of the Hospital Trust. Denise was very sympathetic and promised to discuss the matter with the trust Board to see if anything can be done to mitigate the effect of the charge for those disabled people for whom a car is the only means of accessing to the Hospital.

“Of course, a far wider issue is that visitors to hospitals in England have to pay to park their cars, whilst in Scotland visitors who drive are not charged. I have already raised this in Parliament and will continue to highlight the unfairness of English taxpayers subsidising benefits in Scotland that they do not share.”
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