Parking prices have been hiked at Watford General Hospital's new car park, which will open to the public tomorrow (April 29).

Around 1,300 of the 1,454 spaces will be available at the seven-floor car park with the trust saying prices are set in line with other local hospitals. 

A two-hour stay will now cost £5 instead of £3, while four hours is £8 instead of £6.

A new system has been implemented allowing up to 30 minutes to be free in any unrestricted space, but for longer periods the new charges are as follows:

  • Up to 1 hour - £3.50
  • Up to 2 hours - £5
  • Up to 3 hours - £7
  • Up to 4 hours - £8
  • Up to 5 hours - £9
  • Up to 6 hours - £10
  • Up to 12 hours - £12
  • Up to 24 hours - £15

Concessionary rates of £24 per week / £48 per month are available for frequent attenders.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: The entrance at the new car parkThe entrance at the new car park



But free parking is being offered to blue badge holders, carers who are assisting patients, next of kin patients receiving end of life care, parents or carers or guardians of children who are inpatients and patients who attend outpatient clinics three times or more each month over at least three months.

The West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says that public charges have been “set in line with other hospitals in the region” and will also contribute to the cost of the new parking facilities.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: A new 30 minute free parking period has been introducedA new 30 minute free parking period has been introduced

Meanwhile staff were told they’ll be charged 1.05 per cent of their salary with a maximum monthly cap of £96 for people on the highest salaries – and eventually this will transition into a pay as you park system.

A trust spokesperson said that charges are “necessary” to cover such costs, including the capital charges arising from the £40m build cost, ground rent, staffing, lighting, technology and maintenance.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: An overview of the car parkAn overview of the car park

Paddy Hennessy, the trust’s director of environment, said: “Staff feedback has been very positive and we are looking forward to welcoming patients and visitors to the new multi-storey car park.

“Local people should take heart that we have completed the new multi-storey car park on time and on budget as this bodes well for our exciting hospital redevelopment plans.”

Construction of the multi-storey began last year after the trust received £39.2 million Government funding.

The new car park will provide 72 disabled bays, almost doubling the current offering, and be equipped with lifts and stairs, and provide access to wheelchairs to support those with restricted mobility.