Hospitals scrap car-parking charges

Car-parking charges are to be scrapped at 14 NHS hospitals across Scotland, while three of the biggest, all built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), will continue to charge.

They are Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "It's simply not fair to expect patients or visitors to have to pay when they come to hospital, when they may be suffering personal anxiety, stress or grief. Put bluntly, a car parking charge is often the last thing people need."

The charges will be scrapped on December 31 after a review of the parking policies of NHS boards. A temporary cap of £3 a day has been in place since January.

The RAC's Motoring Strategist Adrian Tink said: "It's a good and long overdue move, one that no doubt will be roundly applauded by motorists in Scotland.

"Most people are reliant on driving to hospitals and this gets rid of an unnecessary hassle and cost at a time of likely anxiety and stress for them. Let's hope this sets a precedent for the rest of the UK."

Charges have been unpopular with staff and visitors alike. Some health boards have argued they need to apply charges to stop commuters who have no connection with the hospital leaving their cars there all day.

Health board will be asked to bring forward plans for meeting increased demand and promoting environmentally-friendly transport.

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