Hospital bosses say a new ticketless system and Park and Ride scheme will 'significantly improve' parking at the Countess of Chester.
The trust has outlined the new measures which include a multi-payment system for cash, card, contactless and smartphone payment facilities, and the introduction of a Park and Ride scheme for patients and visitors to the hospital.
Car park users will no longer need to claim a ticket, as the automated number plate recognition system (ANPR) will require them to simply key in their car registration number at the pay station before being provided with the option of paying by cash, card or contactless.
There will be no change to the current price structure, which allows users to park free for the first 30 minutes, pay £3 for five hours, £5 for six hours and £7 for more than six hours.
Chief operating officer Lorraine Burnett said: “Parking is an issue at many hospitals and The Countess is no different.
"Our previous pay system was cash only and the equipment and technology over 10 years old. Anyone who has parked at the Countess in recent times will know that this system has been subject to continual breakdowns leading to frustration for many users at what can already be a difficult time.
"By introducing new technology we hope to significantly improve the parking experience for our patients and visitors," she added.
Step-by-step guide to new ticketless parking system
- Drive up to the barrier at the car park as normal
- A camera will log your registration plate and the barrier will lift automatically
- Find a space and then head into the hospital for your appointment/visit
- Before leaving head to one of the new parking machines located in the Liverpool Road and Jubilee car parks. There is also a card only machine in the hospital's main corridor.
- Input your vehicle’s registration number and pay
- Approach the barrier on your way out and it will lift automatically
- Push help button for assistance at any time
If drivers have been at the hospital for less than 30 minutes when they approach the barrier to leave it will lift automatically, without needing to visit a pay station on the way out.
New Park and Ride scheme
The trust has also reached an agreement with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) to introduce a Park and Ride scheme for patients and visitors to the Chester hospital.
Available from CWaC's Upton and Wrexham Road Park and Ride car parks, buses will stop directly outside the Countess on Liverpool Road and run every 12 minutes at a cost of £1 per return journey.
CWaC's Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “The new service will benefit hospital patients, visitors and the environment. Our buses use the very latest enviro-clear engine technology and will ease congestion at the Countess of Chester Hospital site.
“Our Park & Ride service provides a stress-free visit without the hassle of traffic or parking on a busy site. Information about the new services and all available stops can be found on the council website or at any of our Park and Ride sites.”
And Ms Burnett added: “I am pleased we have been able to work with colleagues at CWaC to improve the links to the hospital and we hope that patients and visitors will benefit from the improved transport and parking options in 2018.”
The Park and Ride bus times run as follows:
Monday to Friday : every 12 minutes between 7am and 7pm
Saturdays : every 12 minutes between 8am and 7pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays : every 15 minutes between 9.30am and 6pm