Hospital car parking fees in England have risen by 50% in the last year, new figures have shown.

The data was uncovered by the Liberal Democrats who criticised the Government for “failing to deliver” on a manifesto pledge to end unfair hospital car parking charges, the PA News Agency reports.

NHS England’s 2022/23 estates return information collection shows trusts’ gross income from patients’ and visitors’ parking was £145.8 million.

In comparison to the previous year, this was up 50% from £96.7 million and around three times the £47.9 million from two years prior.

Sidmouth Herald: Around £400,000 was spent in English hospital car parks each day in the last yearAround £400,000 was spent in English hospital car parks each day in the last year (Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Across last year, it was the equivalent of £400,000 spent in hospital car parks every day.

Hospital staff suffering because of parking charges

Car parking fees paid by hospital staff rose enormously, with it costing them £46.7 million in 2022/23 compared to £5.6 million in 2021/22.

This is because of parking charges that were scrapped during the pandemic being reintroduced in March last year.

Patricia Marquis, the Royal College of Nursing’s director for England, said: “For nursing staff and support workers, the soaring cost of parking takes too much of their low wage.

“Government and the NHS must rethink – leaving nursing staff out of pocket just for doing their jobs is wholly unfair.”

Current NHS guidance says that disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, parents of sick children staying overnight and staff working night shifts should park for free.

Liberal Democrat health and social care spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: “Hospital car parking fees are becoming a tax on caring for visitors and our hard-working NHS staff.

“This Conservative government is utterly failing to deliver on their promise to crack down on unfair hospital parking fees, and people are literally paying the price.”

The party also warned that ministers’ failure to properly fund local health services could lead to hospitals hiking parking charges.

A Tory spokesman said: “The Conservatives have fulfilled their manifesto pledge to end unfair charges for those in greatest need.

“The Lib Dems should come clean as to which services they would cut to subsidise parking further.”