Nurses at an Essex hospital have seen their work parking permits taken away and are being told to take the bus instead.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust have told a 1,000 staff to give up their parking permit and find a different way to get to work.
Staff who have not had their permit renewed are instead being offered park-and-ride as an alternative – costing £1.50 a day after a three month free transition period.
The Park and Ride services operates between 5.30am and 9pm on weekdays, and between 7am to 7pm on Saturdays with no service on Sundays. Buses are scheduled every 15 minutes and will take around ten minutes to get to the hospital from the site.
A spokesman for the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust said: “We would like to thank everyone for bearing with us while we introduce new car parking systems at Colchester Hospital for staff, patients and visitors.
“This week we have introduced free car parking for staff at the Park and Ride in Colchester for the next three months.
“After that the cost will be £1.50 a day for our staff, half the usual charge.
“We hope as many colleagues as possible will use the Park and Ride facilities, particularly if they work traditional office hours as this will make a big difference to colleagues working different shifts as there will be less pressure on spaces in the staff car parks.”
Sara Gorton, Head of Health at UNISON, said: “Money is of course tight, but hospital bosses should provide free parking for patients and staff wherever possible.
Adding; “Park and ride schemes can help but trusts shouldn’t forget about staff who finish in the early hours, or who work at weekends,”