HEALTH chiefs are to scrap parking charges for disabled drivers at Trafford General.
The move comes after calls from the borough’s three MPs - Graham Brady, Bev Hughes and Paul Goggins - councillors and residents for free parking for blue badge holders.
Messenger revealed Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust’s charging U-turn to the delighted MPs.
It is expected to come into effect in May, 16 months after the controversial charge was introduced.
Altrincham and Sale West’s Conservative MP Graham Brady said: “I am delighted that common sense has prevailed and that the health trust has listened to my views as well as those of local councillors and members of the public who felt strongly that blue badge holders should not have to pay parking charges.”
Labour MPs Bev Hughes, from Stretford and Urmston, and Paul Goggins, Wythenshawe and Sale East, also welcomed the decision.
Ms Hughes said: "I'm really pleased that following representations on behalf of constituents the health trust has decided to scrap parking charges for disabled people.
“As I've said before, personally I can see no justification for these charges and it’s great news that the trust has also come to this point of view and scrapped the charges."
Wythenshawe and Sale East MP Paul Goggins echoed her views: “This is very welcome news. I am grateful to Trafford NHS Trust for listening to the concerns of disabled people and for responding positively and speedily.”
The health trust said when the charging policy was introduced last year it was felt that access to free parking at the hospital should be based on patients’ and visitors’ ability to pay. People on low incomes were entitled to claim back the cost of parking through the hospital travel costs scheme.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “We promised to review the policy after a year and are pleased to announce that we will soon be providing free car-parking at Trafford General to all blue badge holders.”
Messenger, 9th April 2009