Azara Blog: Addenbrooke's management does not like "congestion charge"

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Date published: 2008/04/11

The Cambridge News says:

Cancer patients needing chemotherapy could be hit by the Cambridge congestion charge, Addenbrooke's Hospital's boss has warned.

Gareth Goodier, chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, has written a "strongly-worded" letter to Cambridgeshire County Council opposing initial plans which include the hospital in the charging zone.

That could mean patients, visitors and staff arriving between 7.30am and 9.30am being hit by a daily charge of between £3 and £5 - on top of parking fees at the hospital that cost visitors up to £15.

Mr Goodier has warned Brian Smith, the council's deputy chief executive of environment and community services, that the charge would be "prohibitively expensive" for patients undergoing chemotherapy and dialysis, treatments which require regular visits to hospital.

Mr Goodier told the News that his letter expressed the worries of staff, patients and visitors.

He said: "The overwhelming feedback we've received opposes the proposal and calls for the hospital to be outside the congestion charging zone."

Oh, so it is ok for the hospital to extort its staff, patients and visitors huge amounts of money for parking, but it is not ok for the council to extort money from people who drive in Cambridge. Funny that. And surprise, everybody thinks that the congestion charge (which is not a congestion charge, since it bears little relationship to congestion) should not apply to themselves, just to everyone else. As it happens, Addenbrooke's is responsible for a reasonable chunk of the traffic in Cambridge, and certainly on that side of town. Still, everybody (except people who will not suffer, e.g. the cycling brigade) hates the idea of this new tax, and it seems very unlikely it will ever come to fruition.

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