YOU can’t expect something for nothing these days. Everything seems to come at a cost, including parking at hospitals up and down the country.

There are those who might argue the charges at Colchester Hospital are excessive at £3 for up to two hours. After all, no-one really wants to be there.

However, the money goes back into medical services so is actually a revenue generator for the health service. It can’t be all bad.

But what is intolerable is the system which is causing untold stress to patients and their loved ones.

Firstly, there are not enough spaces.

The trust which runs the hospital is trying to resolve this by drawing up plans for more parking.

But what about having a reliable free hopper bus running on a loop from the Park and Ride in a similar fashion to airport car parks?

More hospital visitors would use it in preference to driving and it might help to reduce drivers’ soaring blood pressure not to mention the time saved from circling the car park more in hope than expectation of finding a free space.

The trust must also do something to stem the flood of penalty notices.

We have reported on a 90-year-old was fined for overrunning his time by one minute and another after spending 45 minutes finding a space.

Thankfully there is an appeals process and we can only hope whoever reviews such cases sees common sense.

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