My campaign against excessive car park charges at Musgrove Park Hospital has brought some ‘fan mail’ from Patrick Troy, the chief executive of the British Parking Association.

He sent me a cutting from the Gazette of the story about how I took up the case of a Wellington lady who had to pay more than £100 to visit her critically ill mother - after a £200 discount on the parking fees!

Mr Troy wants to persuade me that making people pay more than £7 a day to park at Musgrove is actually good for patients and visitors.

He hopes I ‘understand’ the case for hospital car park charges and why they cannot be free in English hospitals like they now are in Scotland and Wales.

I certainly do understand why hospitals like Musgrove impose high car parking charges - to rake in £1.4 million a year, as highlighted recently in the Gazette.

But I do not agree with Mr Troy that this is good for patients and visitors, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet during our Gordon Browninspired recession.

I shall write back to Mr Troy to politely tell him what to do with his letter and his insulting attitude to hospital patients and visitors - whom he calls ‘consumers’.

Having checked correspondence in the Wellington case, I see hospital chief executive Jo Cubbon has failed to address my original question to her.

I want to know who actually has the final say over how much patients and visitors are forced to pay to park at Musgrove.

Ms Cubbon will not tell me, and instead talks about how much easier it is to park since the multi-storey car park opened.

I do not disagree that there are now more parking spaces available, but I am concerned that the hospital is profiteering from them by taxing the elderly and sick and their relatives who use these spaces.

To find out more about the Conservatives campaign against high hospital parking charges, email me at or visit