INCOME from parking penalty charges at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital soared by 65 per cent last year, compared with the previous 12 months.
The Star has obtained figures from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust under the Your Right to Know campaign which show that money raised by the charges increased massively from £3,100 in 2010/11 to £5,125 in 2011/12.
Income from penalties at the Royal Hallamshire car parks also rose from £3,125 to £3,525.
People parking in the wrong places at both sites were clamped and charged a £25 release fee.
The hospital trust has previously revealed it made £2.8 million last year in fees for parking at the two sites, including £1.458m at the Northern General.
Residents living around the Northern General, where streets are clogged with parked cars due to a shortage of spaces at the hospital site, have repeated calls for some of the money made to be invested in car parking improvements.
The trust says it created 208 extra spaces at the Northern General last year - but plans for a new multi-storey car park remain on hold.
Supermarket worker Neil Beech, aged 49, who lives on Fairbank Road, Norwood, with twin brother, Mark, said: “The hospital just seems to be cashing in. They should spend some of the money on improving car parking on their site.
“The situation is sometimes so bad that ambulances have struggled to drive down our road past the parked cars.”
Kevin O’Regan, hotel services director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our parking enforcement is primarily to ensure the safe and effective running of the hospital sites not for income generation.
“Any surplus funds from car parking are reinvested and last year we did provide an additional 208 car parking spaces at the Northern General.
“It’s with regret that due to the economic climate and the need to prioritise resources on providing direct patient care we do not have the multi-million pound funding to build a multi-storey car park at this time. We fully acknowledge and respect the view of residents.”
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals changed parking enforcement contractor at the start of this month after clamping became illegal. Offenders are now issued with tickets for £60, reduced to £30 if they are paid promptly.