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We run our services from five main hospital sites. All of our hospitals are located within easy reach by public transport and have their own car parking facilities. 

Each of our hospital sites has its own car park. While we endeavour to provide the appropriate car parking for our patients, visitors and users, spaces are limited and at peak times, such as ward visiting times, they can get busy and congested.

We operate 'pay on foot' systems in our hospital car parks, so please remember to bring some change for the car park ticket machines.

At Darlington Memorial Hospital and Bishop Auckland Hospital you need to pay before you go into hospital using the pay machines located in the car parks.

At the University Hospital of North Durham please follow the signs for the public parking area accessed via a barrier. You will be given a ticket which you then need to validate on your exit from hospital using the payment machines by the hospital entrance. To leave, you will need to insert your ticket at the exit barrier.

The visitor car park facility during peak periods can become congested, and where possible users can access the nearby Park and Ride facility located at Sniperly Roundabout. The service will stop on North Road adjacent to the Emergency Department entrance upon request. Current fares are £2.00 per passenger with Under 16s free and concessionary bus pass holders travel for free after 09.30. The service runs between Monday and Saturday 07.00 and 19.00, with the last return bus leaving Durham at 18.45. Further information can be found at Durham Park & Ride

Other car park providers operate in the vicinity of the University Hospital of North Durham site and users should make themselves aware of terms and conditions of use.

At Chester-le-Street Community Hospital you will be issued with a token at the entrance barrier which you need to validate at the payment machine within the reception area of the hospital, and when leaving put the token into the machine at the exit barrier.

The following charges apply to the Darlington Memorial, Bishop Auckland and University Hospital of North Durham hospital sites:

0 - 2 hours - £3.00

Up to 3 hours - £4.00

Up to 24 hours - £6.00

The following charges apply on the Chester-le-Street Community Hospital site:

0 - 2 hours: £1.20
2 - 3 hours: £1.60
3 - 4 hours: £2.00
40p per hour thereafter up to a maximum of £3.60
Day Ticket: £4.00

Drop off / short stay parking

There are also designated drop off bays / short stay parking areas at each of our sites which enable 20 minutes of free parking.

These charges will also apply to blue badge holders.

Parking concessions for patients and carers

The Trust acknowledges that coming to hospital can be a stressful time in people's lives and in certain circumstances the added pressure of paying for car parking increases individual anxiety. Although we are not in a position to offer free parking to users, a number of concessions are available to certain categories of patients and visitors.

Ultimately the car parking service is managed by the Trust's Estates and Facilities team but the concessions allow a degree of flexibility to be used by the clinical staff as we understand there are always extenuating circumstances that don't fit agreed criteria.

The following concessions are available at the respective sites:


On 1st December 2016, County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust introduced charges for Blue Badge holders. 

If all dedicated bays are full, you can access the public car parks still whilst displaying your badge.

End of life - where clinical staff feel it would be beneficial a parking exemption form can be issued to the immediate family / carer.

Long stay patients - normally deemed those that have been an in-patient for more than two / three weeks; primary carers can avail of free parking for the duration of the stay.

ITU / SCBU / neo-natal - Primary carers for those patients within the highlighted areas can ask for  free parking.

Darlington Memorial Hospital and Bishop Auckland Hospital

Please seek further advice and guidance from clinical departmental or ward staff.

Cancer patients - can ask for free parking for the duration of their treatment.

Birthing partners - during the period of confinement birthing partners can ask for free parking.

Dialysis and MRI patients - dedicated parking areas allocated for these individuals with respective departments issuing parking discs / permits.

University Hospital of North Durham

Cancer patients - issued a parking exemption form by clinical staff which allows reduced parking tariffs.

Chester-le-Street Hospital

Appropriate concessions agreed with local clinical staff as required.

Community Hospital sites

Local arrangements are in place and should be followed accordingly.

Parking exemption forms

These allow the user to reduced / free parking and require to be countersigned by a senior member of clinical staff within the issuing ward or department to qualifying individuals. Signed forms should be clearly displayed on the dashboard of the designated vehicle within the public car park.

Users at the University Hospital of North Durham will have to present this form along with their car park entry barrier ticket prior to paying to avail of the reduced / free parking. Forms should be presented to the car parking reception desk located within the Old Trust HQ building.

Please note: No retrospective car parking refunds can be issued.

For further advice please contact the Car Parking Team at Darlington Memorial Hospital on 01325 743845 (answerphone) or email


'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital