Hospital car parking charges set to end in Scotland as deals struck in Glasgow and Dundee
Hospital parking charges are set to end in Scotland after agreements were reached to buy out car parks in Glasgow and Dundee operated through private finance initiative (PFI) schemes.
Negotiations are also progressing to take over the last remaining PFI car park at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, with an agreement expected to be reached in the coming months.
Charges have been suspended at the three hospital PFI facilities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreements to take the car parks into public hands will mean this move is made permanent.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf believes it shows the Scottish Government is "determined" to make sure charges will not return at any PFI site in Scotland.
He said: "I am delighted to announce that these facilities will come into public hands and help phase out the legacy of PFI in hospital car parks in Scotland.
"We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to our NHS workforce for their heroic efforts throughout the pandemic and this will ensure that, along with patients and visitors using our hospitals, they will not face the prospect of parking charges returning.
"There are no car parking charges in place at any hospitals after this Scottish Government secured an arrangement to suspend these at the three PFI sites at the start of the pandemic. Charges at other NHS car parks had already been abolished by this Government.
"This announcement shows we are determined to ensure they will not return at any PFI site in Scotland. Talks are progressing well with the owners of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh site and I am hopeful of reaching an agreement in due course. As this progresses we will be keeping the car park at the hospital free while the final agreement is reached."
The Scottish Government has provided the funding for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to complete the buyout of the PFI car park contract at Glasgow Royal Infirmary for £26.3m, taking over the facility.
A similar arrangement has been reached for NHS Tayside to buy out the PFI car park contract at Ninewells in Dundee for £9m.
The respective health boards now control the car parks and manage them in line with government policy.