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Letter: Labour Hospital Car Park Petition is a Cheap Stunt

Published on: 1 Dec, 2017
Updated on: 1 Dec, 2017

From Wayne Smith

In response to: Guildford Labour Urges People To Sign Petition To Scrap Hospital Car Parking Charges

From the petition web site: “The Labour Party will end hospital parking charges for patients, visitors and staff. These charges place an unfair and unnecessary burden on families, patients and NHS staff.”

I agree that hospital parking charges are indeed a tax on the sick and in an ideal world should be abolished but I suggest that it’s disingenuous and a cheap stunt by Guildford Labour to try and seize the moral high ground on this issue.
Parking charges at the RSCH were also enforced under previous Labour governments. Where was the moral indignation then ?

This petition is very much in line with Jeremy Corbyn’s unfunded election “promise” to abolish and refund University tuition fees. (A promise that he subsequently denied making, post election!) Perhaps that’s why there has been a low take-up with this petition? That, and the reality that it will come to nothing without an alternative to make up the funding shortfall.

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Responses to Letter: Labour Hospital Car Park Petition is a Cheap Stunt

  1. David Wragg Reply

    December 2, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Surely if parking was free, it would be filled by commuters using it as an improvised park and ride facility.

    • K White Reply

      December 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Yes, I recall, many years ago, that the problem of commuters parking there was one of the justifications for charging for parking at RSCH. However, it seems to have become a national trait at all hospitals including those without such a problem.

    • Martin Elliott Reply

      December 2, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Why would anybody park and pay for a bus from the hospital when there is, I’m led to believe, adequate free council Park & Ride, where cheaper payment is only needed for the bus, already?

      It’s already massively subsidised by profits from the council’s town car park profits and enforcement fines.

  2. Sue Hackman Reply

    December 2, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    It’s good that Wayne Smith agrees that hospital car parking charges should be abolished “in an ideal world”, but it is possible to make them free in this world if the ruling party would fully fund the NHS. Creeping cuts have put the hospital in a very difficult position, trying to raise funds from patients to keep its clinical services up to scratch.

    The Conservatives’ magic money tree coughed up for the DUP and EU; why not the sick?

    At the next election, remember which party said it would put patients first, and abolish car parking charges at hospitals.

  3. Shelley Grainger Reply

    December 2, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Can Wayne Smith please get his facts right about the Labour party’s manifesto promise on university tuition fees. At no point was a promise made to retrospectively pay all fees. It was a lie perpetuated by people who consistently fail to cast a critical eye over what they are fed by the media. If you doubt me, read the manifesto.

    As to the parking fees, you agree they should be abolished, why doesn’t Mr Smith come down off his high horse and sign the petition?

    • Wayne Smith Reply

      December 4, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      I would hope that Shelley Grainger knows that political party’s of all colours make many statements and promises after their manifesto’s are published – in reaction to wider public opinion and focus groups. All to bolster their share of the vote. Jeremy Corbyn’s infamous “we’ll deal with it !” remark regarding historic tuition fees being just such an example. Many were taken in by it, including that well-known bastion of right-wing politics, the BBC.

      For those Dragon readers that need a reminder, there are numerous video links available. Examples here:

      Even when a party is elected to government, items included in their manifesto are discarded along the way because of political expediency. No funding, no time, no support. For balance, “Conservatives vow to save Green Belt” would come into that category, as would the “£350m/week for the NHS” written on the side of a bus. Many were taken in by that one too. Politicians turn promises into aspirations and ambitions when it suits. I’m not saying it’s right, it’s just fact. Caveat emptor when you cast your vote.

      Labour is not currently in government, and as such, cannot deliver. If this promise to end hospital parking charges does appear in their 20?? manifesto and they’re elected at the next general election, then what good this petition? It’s not as if Labour or the Conservatives don’t already know that public opinion is against hospital parking charges in England – for this isn’t specific to the RSCH.

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