NHS staff could soon see hospital parking fees scrapped under radical new proposal

NHS staff could soon see hospital parking fees scrapped under radical new proposal

The car parking group says free parking spaces could help ease pressure on NHS staff and patients and help them avoid using public transport. JustPark says local residents and companies will now be able to offer spaces for free through their app in a revolutionary move. 

Those interested in helping can set up the free adverts using the dedicated Coronavirus appeal page of the JustPark website. 

With a network of over 50,000 locations and 4.5mlllion users, JustPark hopes the service will provide an invaluable service to dozens of healthcare experts. 

Anthony Eskinazi, founder and CEO of JustPark said the initiative would support the efforts of staff by ensuring free parking close to key hospital sites. 

He adds it may only be a small step, but easing the pressure on critical services could prove a vital step in fighting the disease. 

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The group says existing JustPark customers will not see their prices affected unless they sign up to the scheme and confirmed placing a space for free was only voluntary. 

JustPark offers a critical service where road users can charge access to their driveways and parking spaces for a small fee. 

For those hoping to get involved, JustPark confirms homeowners do not need to be inside their homes when a healthcare worker turns up. 

Owners will receive an email when a booking is made meaning customers are able to turn up and use the space hassle free. 

The move comes just a day after public transport throughout London was restricted with the closing of over 40 Underground stations. 

Dr Johnathan Behar, consultant at Royal Brompton Hospital confirmed parking had become an increasing issue during the pandemic. 

He claimed the NHS was under extra pressure which had put extra pressure on services such as parking around the hospital. 

He said: “Due to the extra pressure that COVID-19 is putting on the NHS, we’re noticing that parking is increasingly becoming an issue – not just for our patients, but for our staff as well. 

“Staff at the hospital are facing long shifts already while we do our best to treat patients, so we urge people who have available parking near hospitals to visit the JustPark website and list it for free.”

Just a day ago, Scottish health secretary Miles Briggs urged Nicola Sturgeon to scrap parking fees for NHS workers. 

SNP MSP Sandra White has also written to private parking firms to show solidarity with workers and scrap the heavy fees.

Charges can be as high as £20 per day in some hospitals as staff are urged to work longer hours to fight back the virus. 

The First Minister said Health Secretary, James Freeman, was looking into alternatives to prevent those working hard to keep the country safe from the stringent charges. 

Ms Sturgeon said: “The Health Secretary is looking urgently at how we can get rid of parking charges during this period from these hospitals. 

“Hopefully we can talk to the companies, but if not the government will want to do what it can to take away that cost from those who will be working so hard to keep us safe.”

Published at Fri, 20 Mar 2020 07:37:00 +0000