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Unite calls for free hospital car parking for NHS staff in Scotland

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary - Image credit: George Lawie via Flickr

Unite calls for free hospital car parking for NHS staff in Scotland

Hospital car parking charges should be abolished for NHS staff in Scotland as they work to combat the coronavirus, a trade union has said.

NHS facilities across Scotland are still charging NHS staff or making them apply online for parking permits, according to Unite.

This includes NHS staff in Glasgow, who can be issued with parking tickets if they don’t have a permit, the union said. 

Unite is also calling for local authorities to follow the example of Aberdeen City Council in providing free on-street parking for NHS staff in streets close to hospitals where this is available.

Some staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary are to receive free temporary on-street parking permits to ensure they can get parked near the hospital during coronavirus.

Aberdeen City Council has given NHS Grampian 200 permits for the health board to hand out to staff as it sees fit.

The hospital staff receiving the on-street permits will be allowed to park within both residents’ parking only bays and pay and display bays.

A similar agreement has been arranged with Aberdeenshire Council for staff to park at the council’s Woodhill House headquarters, with are close to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Usually, on-street parking permits are only for local residents as the hospital, which is based in the Foresterhill area of the city, has dedicated staff parking, but in light of the current situation, NHS Grampian has lifted all parking restrictions on the site, with the exception of blue badge spaces and emergency access and exits.

James O’Connell, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “It’s vital that all NHS Scotland workers are given free parking during these difficult days.

“It's being reported to Unite that free parking is still not happening, with private parking firms based at hospitals continuing to charge, while local authorities are also not doing enough to assist through temporary street permits.

“We are also requesting that all permit fees which many NHS staff are often faced with paying are reimbursed to those workers who are providing essential and life-saving services.”

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