'Parking should be free in England too'
I was appalled to read Jim Ahearne's letter (Privatisation's taken root at heart of NHS, LP Letters, December 19).
I’m visiting from Scotland which has the compassionate policy of free parking hospitals.
How can the authorities in Preston justify charging already suffering people who have no choice but to attend hospital?
Imagine someone in excruciating pain rushing to A&E.
Before they can get help they’ve to find and ask strangers for change or go to the nearest shop.
How about a family spending the last days or hours with a dying parent or child?
Is their situation not already hard enough without profiting from their suffering?
Mr Ahearne’s case is yet another example of how this shameful parking policy is dehumanising, heartless and putting profit before the people hospitals are meant to serve (which we are already paying for through our taxes).
People attending dialysis have no choice but to visit multiple times a week.
For patients living on a pension or benefits, £30 to £40 a week is a lot to lose.
How cruel to take this money from already vulnerable people.
There is no earthly reason why parking in hospitals should be free in Scotland and not England.
It is a simple question of priorities, and showing some basic humanity.
The current situation is shameful, unjustifiable and should be changed immediately.
Mr Val Morgan
Uncaring policy causing misery
I thought it was a disgrace when the blue badge for disability patients could no longer be used at the Royal Preston Hospital.
I wondered what will some bright spark at the top think of next?
But in recent weeks, worse was to come.
Now parking permits for dialysis patients have been stopped – words just fail me.
I’ve seen first-hand the misery and distress it has caused my brother, a dialysis patient, and his fellow patients over Christmas.
It’s bad enough for people who have to visit consultants or sick relatives, but for patients on dialysis who have to attend two or three times a week to stay alive, it seems very cruel.
At the end of the day, no one goes to hospital for a day out.
They all have a health problem, some very serious, and to have to worry about money for parking machines and barriers is so uncaring.
We are supposed to be a compassionate society.
How can the people who thought this up sleep at night?
I’m surprised there have not been riots in Preston!
Oh, of course, we should remember, those most affected by this terrible decision do not have the health or energy to do that - they are the weakest and most vulnerable among us.
They need all our help to stand up for their rights in the face of this uncaring policy which should be changed back with immediate effect.
Mrs Eleanor Morgan
Chance to boost local economy
Lancashire has an enormous opportunity to boost its economic fortunes by developing its energy offering and bringing together companies of all types and sizes to build a world-class supply chain.
With plans now advancing at last for much-needed new gas storage in salt caverns under the River Wyre, shale gas exploration gathering pace on the Fylde, pictured, and proposals to build a £300m tidal barrage at Fleetwood, there is a very clear and obvious benefit to forging alliances in the business community and the local education sector in order to capitalise on all these energy projects together and ensure local spend and job creation are maximised.
Added to the skills we already have in nuclear engineering and nuclear fuel production, it would make Lancashire a real energy powerhouse, uniquely positioned with expertise in several key elements of the UK’s energy mix. It’s time to start supporting Lancashire’s energy industries collectively in order to really boost the local economy.