BARNET and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust has defended parking charges at its sites, which were revealed by consumer watchdog Which? as the highest minimum fees in Britain.

The minimum fee for visitors and patients is £4 for two hours parking, although the trust said the fee allows people to park for the whole day.

In a statement, it said: “Overall, for longer periods this fee is comparable with other trusts.

“It is also important to note that there are drop off and pick up zones situated around both sites of up to 30 minutes.”

One of the recommendations in the Which? report was for discounts be given to regular visitors and patients.

The trust said regular visitors are offered a weekly “season ticket” for £11 and added the information on available concessions would be more widely publicised at the sites.

The statement added: “The trust would like to assure patients and visitors that, other than the cost of running the car parks (such as maintaining the machinery and car parks, security and paying the parking attendants), all the income from charges is paid into the hospital’s budgets, directly benefiting patient care.

“Following the Department of Health consultation on car parking earlier the year, the trust is taking the opportunity to investigate the possibility of charging an hourly rather than a daily rate for parking.”

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