PATIENTS and their visitors will have to pay to use the car parks at Scarborough General Hospital from this week.

Officials of Scarborough NHS Trust said that part of any profit from the pay-and-display system will be used to provide patient care.

The charges will be 50p for the first hour, £1 for up to four hours, and £2 for more than four hours.

John Wane, director of facilities, said the revenue would also help to improve security at the car parks.

The charges are expected to net the trust about £150,000 a year.

However, hospital staff will not be charged to use the car parks.

The decision follows nurses' fears that they would be at risk at night if they were having to walk considerable distances from the hospital.