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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 May 2006, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Hospital parking probe planned
Ninewells Hospital
The inquiry will come after a charges review at Ninewells Hospital
MSPs will investigate hospital parking charges following an increasing number of complaints from constituents.

The decision came after NHS Tayside backed plans to charge up to 15 for parking at Dundee's Ninewells Hospital.

The probe by Holyrood's cross-party health committee, is likely to be completed before the summer.

Tayside health chiefs said they had to increase charges to tackle the number of drivers using Ninewells as a park-and-ride facility.

The committee's convener, Perth MSP Roseanna Cunningham, said MSPs had decided "in principle" to look at the issue at the suggestion made by Labour Dundee West MSP Kate Maclean.

Earlier this month, NHS Tayside decided to impose a 1.50 four-hour parking time limit at Ninewells, while non-hospital visitors found parking their cars for longer than seven hours can be hit with a 15 charge.

Roseanna Cunningham
We are aware this was a widespread problem
Roseanna Cunningham
Scottish Parliament Health Committee

Nationalist MSP Ms Cunningham said the problem was growing as NHS centralisation meant more people were using larger hospitals like Ninewells.

"The idea of an inquiry was proposed by a member of the committee who, like me, is a Tayside MSP, and the Ninewells parking review has generated quite a lot of negative headlines," she said.

'Public transport problems'

Ms Cunningham said she had also heard concerns about the situation at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

She went on: "We are aware this was a widespread problem.

"A great many people have to travel considerable distances, either as relatives or visitors, or for treatment themselves."

In many parts of Scotland, she said, public transport was not an option.

"The issue is becoming quite problematic for people and this is probably an issue expressed in constituency mailbags across Scotland," added Ms Cunningham.


SEE ALSO:
Revamp for hospital parking costs
18 May 06 |  Tayside and Central
Patients' parking charges dropped
16 May 06 |  Leicestershire


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