A campaign to scrap car park charges at the Royal Preston Hospital has been launched.
Patients and visitors currently pay £3 per day, and now UKIP party members are demanding to know how much is made.
Party spokesman James Barkersaid: “It really is outrageous that citizens are paying tax to provide the car-parks and then they have to pay again when they need to use them. It is just a tax: a tax that can add up to a lot of money if you have to make regular visits to someone who is very ill.
“This money is extracted from people who are often distressed and are almost always in a rush.”
He added that the charges added to parking issues in residental roads nearby, something Coun Margaret McManus agreed was an issue, but said the hospital was flexible with its charges, and was working with local councillors to resolve the issue.
Preston MP Mark Hendrick said: “We would all like to park for free, but if the charges weren’t in place, people working in the city centre would park there and commute in.
“The charges need to be reasonable and for short stay, the charges are relatively small. I think at the moment there is a balanced approach.”
Miles Timperley, director of facilities and services at the hospital, said there was little evidence people park on residential roads to avoid charges and a park and ride scheme was in place for staff. He added free parking is provided for long stay patients, cancer patients and renal patients, as well as for visitors of critical care and neonatal patients. Parking is free for blue badge holders and volunteers, and a weekly £10 ticket is available for visitors to long stay patients.
He said: “If we provided free parking for everyone we would have to divert funds from caring for patients to operating and maintaining carparks.”