Parking prices for visitors and patients at the Royal Surrey County Hospital are set to rise again in the New Year.
It comes after the hospital secured permission for 173 new temporary parking spaces at the site, and finalised a £10m proposal for a four-storey car park containing more than 600 spaces.
However, starting on January 4, new parking prices will be introduced.
It will now be free to park for the first 20 minutes, but parking for up to two hours will increase from £3 to £3.50.
The hospital has said that parking remains a serious issue, with patients arriving “unnecessarily early” before appointments to secure a spot.
Neighbours of the hospital have complained employees and visitors are taking up spaces in residential roads, which has also led to problems with dustbin lorries unable to clear up one street in particular.
“We are doing all that we can to secure additional visitor, patient and staff parking spaces,” said a spokesman for the hospital.
“The trust is pleased to announce it has secured planning permission to retain one of its vital staff car parks for the next two years.
“There was a chance that we could have lost the so called ‘Plot 23’ staff car park, but after a great deal of hard work over the past six months, we have been granted permission to retain it and extend it to provide 388 spaces in total.
“This is a gain of 173 spaces over the previous planning permission we had for 215 spaces.
“This will provide additional staff parking spaces closer to the hospital and help meet the demand for car parking spaces as the trust has grown over the past few years.
“It is also hoped it will ease some of the pressure in the nearby residential communities.”
When the new prices are introduced in January, the price to park for up to five hours will remain the same – but those wanting to park for up to six hours will face a £7 charge, £1 higher than before.
A six to 24 hour parking ticket will go up from £8 to £9, a weekly ticket by £5 to £10, and an oncology day ticket will increase from £3 to £3.50.
Dustbin lorries recently had to delay collecting waste in Greville Close after “inconsiderate parking” prevented the vehicles driving down to the end of the road.
Darren Little, head of security and car parking at the hospital, said: “The trust strongly discourages its staff from parking in residential streets around the hospital.
“However, due to our serious parking issues, many staff choose to do so. We have and will continue to ask staff to respect our local neighbours and park considerately.”
The hospital hopes that if given permission, the new multi-storey car park will be ready in two years time.
“There is still a great deal of work for us to do though, before we can submit the full planning application which we aim to do early next year,” added Mr Little.
“This will be a large facility that we hope will be the ‘cure’ to our current parking issues.”
The hospital will be offering free car parking on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and blue badge holders will continue to have free parking.
“Car parking charges are an unfortunate necessity and the car parking revenue goes in to managing and maintaining our car parks, directing traffic and lighting, CCTV etc,” the hospital spokesman added.
“Any additional revenue goes towards patient care or is used towards projects such as the multi storey car park.
“We would ask all users of our car parks to please bear with us whilst we continue to work towards increasing our number of car parking spaces.”