Free car parking for frontline healthcare workers to end

Parking charges for health and social care workers are to be reintroduced but when this will be done is not yet clear. 

Chloe Dawson
8 July 2020
Hospital Parking Charges Liverpool

The decision has prompted a backlash from trade unions.

Frontline healthcare workers battling COVID-19 will be forced to pay to park at their own hospitals again as the pandemic starts to ease.

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Health and social care workers in England have been allowed to park at their workplace for free since the start of lockdown thanks to funding from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Ministers have confirmed that parking charges are to be reintroduced as the emergency measures “cannot continue indefinitely” but when this will be done is not yet clear.

The decision has prompted a backlash from trade unions who want to see free parking for staff made permanent.

A spokesperson for DHSC said; “We want to make sure NHS staff can travel safely to work during the pandemic, which is why we requested that the NHS make parking free for staff, and that local authorities do the same with their car parks.

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“As the pandemic begins to ease, the NHS will continue to provide free hospital car parking to key patient groups and NHS staff in certain circumstances. We will provide further updates on this in due course.”

Up to £1,300 per year.

Councils and NHS trusts in England were given cash by the government in March to suspend fees for hospital workers “during this unprecedented time”.

Hospital parking was already largely free in Scotland and Wales.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said:  “GMB has long campaigned for the removal of care parking charges for our NHS staff. Our investigation found trusts were charging hard up NHS staff up to £1,300 a year to park where they work.

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“At the start of this crisis, we persuaded the Government to scrap parking charges for all health and social care staff. Now Ministers are showing their true colours – it’s a disgrace.

“This pandemic is far from over and people will be disgusted to know our frontline heroes are being charged extortionate fees as they put their lives at risk to keep us all safe.

“The government has failed at all levels during the COVID-19 crisis; with guidance, with pay, with PPE, with testing. One thing they can do is secure free parking for health and social care workers – not just now, but forever.

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