Deadline looms for nurses to sign petition calling for exemption from parking fines

More than 6,000 staff have already signed but 10,000 are needed 

Nurses and other community health workers have two days left to sign a petition calling for parking penalty charges to be waived when delivering care to patients.

Picture: iStock

The petition, set up by campaigner Elizabeth Pearce and supported by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), has attracted more than 6,000 signatories; however, a total of 10,000 is needed by 12 September to compel the government to respond to the issue.  

Ms Pearce writes on the petition website: ‘Parking issues need to be addressed. Councils pay for care to be delivered, but penalise those very people [who deliver it] when [free] parking is unavailable.’

A QNI spokesperson said: 'This is an issue that causes a lot of concern and stress to nurses working in the community.

‘It isn’t about allowing healthcare workers to park on double yellow lines, but about asking local authorities, healthcare providers and private parking agencies to look at pragmatic and effective responses to a problem that affects nurses and their patients.’

He added that a nurse could challenge a parking ticket but that the appeal may not be successful and their employer is unlikely to cover the cost of parking. 

Many people who have posted comments on the QNI’s Facebook page support the petition.

Alice Page wrote: ‘Our local council issues permits to all community nurses. They allow us to park in "permit holder only" bays, and on double yellow lines as long as it is safe to do so.

‘We are in a lucky position here as I know other councils are not as understanding.’

Carolyn Randle wrote: ‘This was a bugbear of mine when I worked in the district. Our council really didn’t want to know.

‘Our car park was very bad [with] hardly any spaces, but there was a council building opposite with spaces never used. Disgusting.’ 

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