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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 13:38 GMT
Hospitals to charge for parking
The Queen Mother's Hospital, Yorkhill
Charges at the Queen Mother's Hospital will be introduced in April
Car parking charges are to be introduced at Glasgow's main hospitals from the beginning of April.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the move would improve disabled access and create safer parking areas.

The health board said the scheme had been designed to ensure patients and visitors paid no more than 1 a visit.

That charge covers a two-hour period. After that it rises by 1 an hour up to seven hours, when the maximum rate of 12 is applied.

The charges will first be introduced at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and the Queen Mother's Hospital at Yorkhill, the Western Infirmary, Gartnavel General Hospital, the Victoria Infirmary and the board's headquarters.

We want to make sure that patients and visitors - the people who actually use our services - have a far better chance of getting a parking space
Alex McIntyre
Director of facilities

Special concessions will be made for patients and guardians of children undergoing extended treatment.

Disabled drivers will be able to park free and people on low incomes will be able to claim the money back.

Alex McIntyre, the board's director of facilities, said the scheme was not-for-profit and all the money generated would be ploughed back into safety, lighting and providing more spaces.

He added: "The charges are being introduced in response to growing and often severe congestion in our hospital car parks.

"In part this congestion is caused by shoppers, commuters and others using our hospitals to park for long periods in the day for free.

"We want to make sure that patients and visitors - the people who actually use our services - have a far better chance of getting a parking space."

Disabled bays

The charging will be the same in all NHS-operated car parks except the multi-storey car park at Glasgow Royal Infirmary which is run by a private company which operates a different rate.

Mr McIntyre added: "The parking tariff has been designed specifically to cater for our many thousands of outpatients and visitors, almost all of whom require to park between one and three hours."

Staff and patient car parks will be separated for the first time, with the balance of spaces provided in favour of patients and visitors.

The move has support from disabled groups.

John Thompson from the Murray Foundation, a support service for those affected by limb loss or absence, said: "I am delighted to hear that the new policy will increase the amount of disabled bays closest to the entrances but more importantly that they will be 'policed' at all times."


SEE ALSO
Parking fee plan for hospitals
18 May 04 |  Scotland

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