STRUCTURE: East Cheshire Trust has bowed to patient pressure and announced it will maintain free parking for visitors for up to four hours at its hospitals in Knutsford and Congleton.

Petitions had been handed to the trust board by Gareth Wilson, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Tatton, and former MP for Congleton Sir Nicholas Winterton against the trust introducing parking fees based on charges at its hospital in Macclesfield, which it had considered.

Staff will be charged on a sliding scale depending on their salary, however.

Trust chief executive John Wilbraham confirmed: “Car parking for patients and visitors to the Knutsford and Congleton hospitals will be free up to a period of four hours.”