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NURSES at a major Scottish hospital are in uproar over parking charges of £20 a day.
Last month, Semperian, a private company which runs the car park at Glasgow Royal Infirmary as part of a PFI scheme, announced it would increase overnight parking charges from £1.50 to £1.60 per hour.
Unlike other Scottish hospitals, there is no cap in parking charges, meaning costs can quickly spiral out of control. Now nurses have started a petition demanding the charge is reduced to £5, which has gathered 11,000 signatures.
Writing on the online petition page, nurse Shelley McCahon said: “I am aware that we are not likely to get free parking, therefore I wish to campaign for a standard £5 flat rate, to ensure parking is safe and affordable for all.”
Royal College of Nursing Scotland official Anne Thomson told the BBC: “It seems unfair that staff at Glasgow Royal Infirmary are still having to pay so much for car parking on this site, when NHS staff in most of the rest of Scotland don’t face such high charges.”
The Scottish government said it wanted the charges to end, but it added: “Unfortunately it is one of three car parks locked into long-term PFI contracts which precede this government.”
The health board controlling the infirmary, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said the car park was “a PFI project owned by a private company” and that, as a result, it does “not have any control over the tariffs the private company chooses to charge.”
Labour pledged to abolish hospital car parking charges for patients and staff as part of its 2017 manifesto.
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