Patients and NHS staff have saved over £13 million since NHS car parking charges were abolished in 2008.
As of 31 December 2008 parking was made free for patients, visitors and staff at hospitals where charges had previously applied. A year before the abolition, prices were capped at £3 per day.
Three car parks operated under Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts at Ninewells, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh still have charges.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said:
“In Scotland, we are sticking by the founding principles of the NHS – we want services that are free for everyone, not out to make profits.
“That’s why I am glad to see that getting rid of hospital car parking charges have saved patients and staff so much money over the last four years.
“Charging to park at hospital was an unneeded financial burden on families and those needing treatment at a difficult time.
“Boards have also worked hard over the past four years to put plans in place for addressing potential increases in demand, the promotion of greener transport and the possible misuse of spaces by commuters or others.
“I would like to be able to abolish charging at the three PFI car parks too but, unfortunately, these boards are locked into long-term contracts with operators. That’s is why this Government is committed to new models of funding which mean that the private sector can’t make excessive profits at the taxpayers’ expense.”
Charges were abolished at the following hospitals:
- NHS Grampian – Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin
- NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – Gartnavel General Hospital and Gartnavel Royal Hospital (one car park for both), Southern General Hospital, Stobhill Hospital, Victoria Infirmary, Western Infirmary and Yorkhill Hospital
- NHS Highland – Raigmore Hospital, Inverness
- NHS Lothian – Lauriston Building, St John’s Hospital and Western General Hospital.
- NHS Tayside – Perth Royal Infirmary