A CHANGE in policy at Scarborough Hospital which means disabled drivers can park for free is yet to be fully publicised – more than two months after the decision was made.
In early April, hospital chiefs made the concession to blue badge holders, meaning they would not be charged for parking in designated disabled spaces in the hospital car park.
However, signs reflecting the change are yet to be fully updated - meaning disabled visitors to the car park may be unaware of the policy and are unnecessarily putting money into the meters.
A spokesperson for Scarborough NHS Trust said: “Blue badge holders parking in a marked disabled bay are exempt from payment. Car park signs are in the process of being updated to reflect this change.”
Enforcement of parking charges at the hospital was introduced in February, despite opposition of many patients.
The hospital claimed that enforcement had been introduced for safety reasons, due to people parking improperly and blocking buses. ambulances and delivery vehicles.
Initially, it was decided that blue badge holders would have to pay full price when the hospital began to enforce car parking charges, with fees ranging from £1.20 an hour to £6 for up to four hours.
The hospital trust claimed that the policy was introduced so that disabled visitors would be “treated equally” to other car park users.
However by April the hospital had been persuaded to drop the charges for blue badge holders. In a letter at the time, the hospital’s head of facilities Richard Vincent, said: “Following recent discussions with patients’ groups, the trust has agreed that no charge will be levied against disabled badge holders when parking in marked disabled parking bays.”
Disabled blue badge holders are not entitled to park in a way that may cause an obstruction, nor are they exempt from paying if they park in a normal parking space.