Health Minister Robin Swann is extending free car parking for HSC staff until 31 August after which time normal charging will resume.
The Minister said: “Free car parking for HSC staff was introduced in March 2020 at a time when Northern Ireland was feeling the first impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we move into recovery phase and focus on rebuilding the HSC car parking is required once again by returning patients and visitors.
“Car parking is at a premium on several hospital sites across Northern Ireland, causing accessibility issues for patients and visitors. This is impacting on patient appointments and visiting sessions because of the lengthy queues forming to gain access to our hospitals. It will therefore be necessary to return to the normal charging regime to preserve parking spaces for patients.”
Free parking was introduced in March 2020 and was extended up to 31 July 21.
The Minister concluded: “I want to reiterate my sincere gratitude to all HSC staff for their work during this pandemic. Whilst it is not over yet, we are now in a different place than this time last year. I hope we can continue taking small steps back to full normality.”
Notes to editors:
Notes to editors:
- The Department’s current policy on car parking provision and management in the Health and Social Care (HSC) sector for Northern Ireland was published in 2012 and sets the direction for car park management including charging. It is for each Health and Social Care Trust to determine the way that the policy is applied to each of their sites to enable them to take into account local issues.
- In 2019/20, almost £8m was raised from car parks with over 100 spaces. The cost of running these car parks was just under £9m. These figures show that the cost of car parking is not being recovered in full.
- Three periods of free parking have been provided (April to June 2020 and October 2020 to March 2021, and 1 April 2021 to 31 July 2021) at a total cost of £6.5m, provided from specific Covid funding.
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