Closed petition Scrap car parking charges at NHS Hospitals in England

Hospital car parking charges affect the vulnerable, visitors of ill relatives and hardworking NHS staff. The fees are a major cause of social injustice.

Join the campaign to get this stealth tax scrapped, once and for all.

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The NHS should be free at the point of access but hospitals charge up to £300 for a week of parking.

In 2014, the Government introduced guidance suggesting free or reduced parking should be available for staff, blue badge holders and visitors of gravely ill relatives.

Since then, 47% of hospitals have increased their hourly parking charges and almost half still charge blue badge holders.

The campaign is supported by FairFuelUK, CLIC Sargent and Headway.

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Government responded

This response was given on 27 June 2018

Hospitals’ car parking policies must put patients first, but removing charges would mean losing over £200m from patient care budgets, and result in fewer spaces being available for genuine users.

Read the response in full

67% of NHS sites don’t charge for car parking, meaning the majority of regularly attended community sites and mental health wards - that often see some of the most vulnerable patients – do not charge.

NHS organisations are locally responsible for the provision and charging for their parking and this includes the methods used to charge and their rules must be clearly displayed.

We expect all NHS organisations to follow the published NHS Car Parking Principles but NHS organisations have the freedom to make decisions on their car parking including charges to reflect their local situation. We want to see Trusts coming up with options that put staff, patients and their families first.

Income generated from parking charges is used to pay the costs of providing the parking (such as maintenance, security and lighting) and to avoid funds being taken from budgets for healthcare services.

If any excess is generated, income generation rules require that it is used to fund clinical services.

The principles explicitly state that contracts should not be let on any basis that incentivises additional charges, e.g. 'income from parking charge notices only'.
Parking Charge Notices must be applied reasonably.

In 2015 a Health Technical Memorandum (NHS car parking management: environment and sustainability) was published to provide helpful guidance on how NHS organisations should approach the provision of car parking and other travel plans – including some good examples of best practice.

Since introducing free parking at hospitals, Scotland and Wales have seen other issues arise, such as illegitimate use and a lack of spaces. Having a parking regime prevents these problems.

Department of Health and Social Care