£7 million! That's how much was taken from University Hospital Coventry visitors and workers last year in car parking charges.
"We'll be stepping up our campaign to stop the government re-imposing a 'going to work' tax on our NHS workers" said former Socialist Party Coventry councillor Dave Nellist.
"Socialists have been campaigning against hospital parking charges for years, but we're sure that most people in our city will be outraged at the government backtracking on this.
Our workers were 'heroes' for a few months but now they face a bill of hundreds of pounds a year, being charged to turn up to work to be those heroes.
People should not be being charged to go to work and nor should people be charged for being ill and having to attend hospital, and certainly not to boost the profits of a private company"
Throughout our campaign, Coventry Socialist Party has heard from hundreds of NHS workers, patients, visitors paying these fees while the company running the car park makes profits off of them. Here's some examples, all since the pandemic started:
- A health care assistant told us they used to tailgate to ensure they could get into work because they could not afford the charge.
- A midwife told us she has been refused a staff pass, and so had to pay £9 every day to do her job.
- A former nurse said that she quit the NHS because she found a job that paid better and didn't charge her to go to work.
- One young man told us he lost his partner in hospital after two weeks there. When he went into the hospital every day, he had to watch the time he was by his partner's bedside to make sure he didn't spend more than he could afford in the car park.
It is absolutely clear that most people in Coventry oppose these charges.
Its reasonable for hospitals to cover costs of providing parking, but this is a private company making millions of pounds in profit every year from hospital parking charges. And these charges have a serious impact of many people's lives.
We demand an end to all parking charges at UHCW!