PARKING charges at Hereford County Hospital - already among the highest in the county - are due to go up again.

A meeting of the Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) board was told this week that the charges would increase once more before the relevant contract ran out in 2016.

Of 18 public questions put to the board at the meeting, 17 related to high parking charges and their impact on patients and visitors.

Under the 30-year PFI deal that got the hospital built in 2002, management of the car park is sub-contracted out over a 10 year term to Car Parking Plus by WVT's PFI partner Sodexo.

WVT has no direct management of the contract signed in July 2006.

Money raised by the charges does not go go directly to the hospital, it is part of the overall cost of the PFI.

Howard Oddy, the Trust's director of finance, told the board that one more charge increase was scheduled before the contract ended.

The board effectively ruled out a return to subsidies for parking costs, a four-year practice that WVT stopped in 2011-12.

Instead, the board heard, more could be done to encourage the use of available concessions.

Last year - when charges rose to £3 - the Hereford Times revealed that cash-strapped WVT spent more than £300,000 on parking subsidies between 2008-2011.