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Scotland to implement ban on hospital car parking charges

Ministers in Scotland have followed Wales in stating their intention to grant free parking at most hospitals.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon yesterday announced the decision, which extends to all NHS staff, patients and visitors, after a review of all NHS boards.

The move, to be implemented by the beginning of 2009, will overturn January’s interim decision to cap charges at £3 per day.

Although 14 publically operated hospitals come under the ban, those using three car parks operated by private finance initiatives at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, will not be able to take advantage of the new rule.

However, the Scottish Government has said it expects PFI contractors to minimise the impact by limiting or reducing charges.

An RCN Scotland survey conducted last year found that 87% of the public supported abolishing hospital parking fee for all users.

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