Drivers find hospital parking fees the most infuriating

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According a new RAC study, paying to park at hospitals in England is the biggest annoyance for drivers looking to park.

The research found that more than two thirds (64%) feel hospital parking is the most unwelcome fee. These figures suggest further support for scrapping the charges.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "While we would like to see parking charges at hospitals in England scrapped, that might be an unrealistic hope, particularly as many hospitals appear to be using the additional income to support patient care."

"Surely charges should only be made to cover the maintenance and operation costs of car parks, and not as a way to generate extra revenue," Williams added.

The survey of 1,217 drivers found the second least favourite fee was charges at supermarkets, shopping centres and other private car parks (12%).

This was followed by on-street parking in town centres (8%), residential parking permits (7%) and parking at railway stations (4%).

Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed want the Government to follow in the footsteps of Scotland and Wales and scrap hospital parking fees in England.

Williams noted: "Making hospital parking in England free would mean funds for operating and maintaining car parks would need to be found from other areas of hospital budgets which could potentially have unwelcome consequences for healthcare delivery."

However, he added: "At the very least, every hospital should be conforming to the car parking principles set out by the NHS which say staff, patients and visitors should be able to park as safely, conveniently and economically as possible, and that charges should be reasonable for the area."

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