Hospital disabled parking charges under fire

PLANS to charge disabled drivers to park in some spaces at King George and Queen’s Hospital’s have come in for strong criticism.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, which manages the two hospitals, in Goodmayes and Romford respectively, would not say when the measure would be introduced, only that it was necessary to “improve traffic” .

A spokeswoman for the Trust said: “We are introducing a new parking policy to improve traffic management on both our sites.

“Currently, those with disabled badges have to call security to be released without charge. This takes considerable time and has led to abuse from frustrated drivers.”

The badge holders, who have enjoyed free parking in the past, will now face the same parking charges as all other drivers in car parks with barriers.

But they will still be able to park for free in the open car parks, which provide 74 disabled spaces at Queen’s and 56 at King George.

A spokesperson for Mobilise, a charity promoting mobility for disabled people, said: “Introducing parking charges for Blue Badge holders is unfair.

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“It will cost disabled people more money as they have to go to hospital more often than other people.”