Hospital parking: trust offers staff incentives to leave their cars at home

Nurses at the Royal Victoria in Belfast face calls to commute by public transport

Nurses at the Royal Victoria in Belfast face calls to commute by public transport

Picture: Alamy

Nurses and other hospital staff, whose cars take up 70% of on-site parking spaces, are being urged to make way for more patients.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust wants to reduce the number of staff driving to the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH), to give patients more of a chance to park.

The trust said it can take up to 50 minutes to find a public space in the RVH car park during peak times of 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

It is offering financial support to staff to encourage public transport use and is promoting park-and-ride, walking, cycling and car sharing.

Rita Devlin, deputy director of
RCN Northern Ireland

Staff and patients travel long distances

RCN Northern Ireland deputy director Rita Devlin said the college has been aware for some time of the difficulties for staff parking at the hospital.

She added: 'The RVH provides a variety of specialist services meaning that both patients and staff often travel from outlying areas.

‘The RCN believes trusts must ensure a reasonable allocation of car parking spaces is made for staff. While we understand the trust is trying to tackle the parking issues, unfortunately it is not always possible for staff to use public transport. Public transport does not always support working different shift patterns.'

She added there are safety concerns for those working unsociable hours.

There are about 2,700 spaces at the site and 17,000 vehicles using the car parks per week.

A multidisciplinary group including staff representatives has been set up to develop a trust-wide car parking strategy.

Petition to reduce parking charges

Nurses at Glasgow Royal Infirmary are signing an online petition to cut car parking fees of £1.70 per hour between 8am and 6pm and £1.60 per hour between 6pm and 8am.

The petition has more than 11,000 signatures of support to date.

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesperson said the car park is privately owned and it does not control the tariffs the company charges.

A Scottish government spokesperson said it had ‘repeatedly’ made it clear it would like to see charges abolished at the hospital car park.


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