Car parking charges at Craigavon and Daisy Hill Hospials would be cut back from £1.20 to 40p for the first 70 minutes.
The Southern Trust is consulting on changes to the fee-charging structure at both hospitals.
While the rate for the first 70 minutes would drop to a third of the current cost, the charge for the next step up will increase.
A 20p rise for parking up to two hours would bring the new cost from £1.80 to £2.
From two to four hours the cost would go from £2.40 to £2.60.
There are no changes for the remainder of the time scales, with four to six hours, remaining at £3, six to eight hours at £4.20, eight to 24 hours at £5.40 and £6 in the event of a lost ticket.
The proposed changes will not affect anyone eligible for free or concessionary parking under the DHSSPSNI Policy for Car Parking Provision and Management in the HSC Sector.
Hospital car parking charges were first introduced to the Southern Trust in 2009.
Car parks closer to main hospital buildings are designated as charged car parks for the convenience of patients and visitors, while staff and those who do not wish to pay can use other parking around the site.
The majority of car parking on both sites remains free of charge, according to the Trust.
Anita Carroll, Assistant Director for Functional Support Services, said: “Car parking is an ongoing challenge on our busy hospital sites and we are always looking for ways to improve accessibility within the limited space and resources available to us.
“Without this income, funding currently used for patient care would have to be used to maintain our car parks.
“The last change to car parking prices was in April 2015, when we increased the charges to help cover rising maintenance costs.
“We have recently reviewed the use of car parks and believe that by reducing the rate for shorter periods, we will encourage a quicker turnover, allowing more people to avail of a parking space throughout the day.
“As always, we welcome the views of those who use our car parks in making this decision and encourage patients, staff and visitors to share their views.”
You can share your views on the proposed changes until February 16 by contacting: Anita Carroll Assistant Director, Functional Support Services, Daisy Hill Hospital, 5 Hospital Rd, Newry, Co Down, BT35 8DR; el: 028 3756 2847, or email: email@example.com
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