A review of car parking charges for acute hospital sites across Greater Glasgow and Clyde has led to a number of key policy improvements.
The review was carried out to address specific concerns raised by patient groups and lower paid members of staff and to ensure the Board’s policy fully complied with national guidance.
The key improvements to the policy are:
- The maximum daily charge for using NHS car parks will be reduced from £12 to £7
- The minimum charge of £1 for two hours increasing to £1.50 for up to three hours; £2.50 for up to four hours
- The number of patients and visitors who will qualify for free parking has been significantly widened … around 30 per cent should qualify for free parking
- A new sliding scale of charges for NHS staff permits has been introduced which reduces the monthly charge to £5 for the lowest earners
The new charges will come into force on four Glasgow hospital sites (Yorkhill, Western, Gartnavel and Victoria) and Board Headquarters on Sunday 29th July 2007.
The policy, which was developed following lengthy public consultation and debate in 2005, will be rolled out to the Southern General and Stobhill hospital sites in November and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley the following month. The final phase of implementation will see charges introduced at Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock and Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria in early 2008.
Tom Divers, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We must all remember why car parking charges are being introduced to our busiest hospital sites. Some of our sites are log jammed with commuters taking advantage of free hospital parking, resulting in patients and visitors, especially the disabled, struggling to find spaces. On other sites there is simply so much congestion and lack of managed parking regimes that the car parks simply do not serve the needs of patients, visitors and staff.
“It is also a national policy, and one adopted and supported by the NHS, to support and promote environmentally friendly transport initiatives which reduce reliance on cars.
“The original policy announced in March did address these issues but caused areas of concern around the levels of charges and those who would qualify for concessions. I feel that this reworked policy is one that is good for the people of Greater Glasgow and Clyde and good for the security of our hospitals and the environment we live in.”
The car parking charges for patients and visitors are:
0-2 hours £1
2-3 hours £1.50
3-4 hours £2.50
4-5 hours £4
More than 5 hours £7
Dedicated free spaces created on all sites for disabled parking.
Disabled badge holders may park free in any public car park space on any site.
Low-income drivers will park free.
Frequently attending visitors for longer stay patients and children younger than 16 will be eligible for concessionary charges.
The penalty for inappropriate parking will be £40 (reduced to £20 if paid within two weeks)
The main charging policy for staff is:
Staff will be allocated permits on the basis of the need to access a car to do their job and the frequency of journeys they make.
Those whose job is totally dependent on having access to a car (e.g. community midwives) will qualify for free parking.
The remaining eligible staff with permits will pay the following charges:
Staff earning less than £10k will pay £5 a month (around 25p per day)
Staff earning between £10k and £30k will pay £25 per month (around £1.25 per day)
Staff earning more than £30k will pay £40 per month (£2 per day)
Tom Divers added: “We have significantly reduced charges for low earners but ensured we can still fund green transport initiatives which will benefit all of our staff by shifting the balance of charging towards higher earners.”
The new NHS “Green Pound” income will be invested in a wide range of ambitious environmentally friendly transport solutions which will benefit everyone who uses our hospital sites. These include:
- Interest free instalment plan to buy SPT Zone Cards
- Managed staff car share schemes
- Expanded hospital pool-car scheme
- Development of inter-hospital staff shuttle bus service
- Interest free bike loans
Annual accounts will be published so people can see how the money generated by these charges has been fully reinvested to improve our car parking and transport facilities.
The security and parking initiative will create around 60 new jobs across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The car park staff employed will also provide extra security to our hospital sites throughout the day and night and carry extra responsibilities to ensure compliance with our no-smoking policy on NHS hospital grounds.
Note to editors: The full NHSGGC Car Parking Policy is available on our website at www.nhsggc.org.uk
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