Free parking has been extended at three Scottish hospitals until January. A measure to scrap charges at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was put in place in March in order to ensure staff caring for patients during the pandemic would not have to pay to park.
Parking has been free at almost all NHS hospitals in Scotland for over a decade, save at these three sites where the car parks were built as part of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects. Parking fees at the rest of Scotland’s hospitals were scrapped in 2008, but at these payment remained as they are run by private operators.
The onset of the pandemic saw the PFI car park providers initially agree to scrap the payments for three months, before extending the move to 30 September and now to the beginning of next year.
Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman said the Scottish Government was looking at ways to resolve the long term parking charge issue at the three PFI hospitals. “In March I wrote to the car park providers at these three PFI hospitals urging them to suspend car parking charges for staff and patients for at least the duration that NHS Scotland remained on an emergency footing,” she said.
“I am pleased they agreed to do this and extended the arrangements until September. As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased that we are able to extend the free car parking arrangements until January 2021. This extension continues to support staff and remove the barriers to our staff working with the NHS during these unprecedented times.”
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