Comment: Protest power wins the day at the ERI

The Royal Infirmary at Little France
The Royal Infirmary at Little France
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The ditching of plans for huge increases in parking fees at the Royal Infirmary is great news.

The proposed hike in charges would have punished both patients and staff. It’s not easy for everyone to get to Little France. The journey by public transport for many people is not one you would want to make often or when you are ill.

Trying to price people out of making the trip by car is deeply unfair. It is no wonder that staff were threatening to revolt at the prospect.

The problem now is two-fold. The price rises have been put on hold for a year - they have not been scrapped. The same basic problem remains. There is not enough parking space at the hospital to meet demand - not by half.

What will happen next year at this stage is anyone’s guess.

If some form of significant price rise is to be avoided something else has to change. Will the NHS and their private partners bite the bullet and build a multi-storey car park? Otherwise some form of plan aimed at squeezing more people out seems inevitable.

The unions who have done their members proud by threatening widespread protest action and the News will be watching.