Hospital U-turn on free parking for NHS staff welcomed by Coventry MP - The Coventry Observer

19th Aug, 2022

Hospital U-turn on free parking for NHS staff welcomed by Coventry MP

A CAMPAIGN backed by 2,000 supporters to reintroduce free parking for NHS staff at Coventry’s University Hospital has succeeded in a hospital policy U-turn.

Although free parking will be reinstated during the Covid-19 pandemic – it will only be valid for permit holders until the end of the financial year, March 31 2021.

While welcoming the move, Coventry South Labour MP Zarah Sultana calls for it to be extended to all staff, patients and visitors – and to be made permanent.

Ms Sultana, who led the campaign after free parking for NHS was scrapped in June, said: “Our NHS staff have been incredible during this pandemic, battling this virus on behalf of us all. That is why it was scandalous that the Government broke its promise and failed to guarantee free parking for all NHS staff throughout the pandemic.

“But the truth is NHS staff have been underpaid and overworked for too long. Staff have told me how high parking charges have forced some low-paid workers out of the jobs they love.

In a statement to UHCW staff last Friday (December 4), Professor Andy Hardy, UHCW CEO, wrote: “We’ve received confirmation that an allocation of funding has been made available from the Government to reinstate free staff parking during the ongoing pandemic. The offer is effective from Tuesday 1st December and will be in place until the end of the current financial year (31st March 2021) for permit holders only.”

As part of the campaign Ms Sultana handed in a petition to Parliament with more than 2,000 online signatures, wrote to PM Boris Johnson with the support of 42 MPs, trade unions and NHS campaign groups, confronted the Prime Minister in the House of Commons and last week secured a debate in Westminster to raise it with a Government minister.

Ms Sultana said: “So while I am pleased that Government funding has been allocated to UHCW to reinstate free parking for permit holders, the Government must now live up to its promise and provide funding for free parking for all NHS staff throughout the pandemic.

“As I have said from the start of the campaign, free parking should not just be brought back for the pandemic, but should be made permanent. It’s an unfair double tax on NHS staff, just as it is an unfair tax on patients getting ill and on visitors seeing their loved ones. So I will keep calling on the Government to follow the lead of the Welsh government, where parking is free for all NHS staff, patients and visitors.”

Support community journalism by making a contribution.

The Coventry Observer's team of journalists provide a trusted source news, sport, entertainment and events going on in your area and issues which matter to you - both via our free weekly print edition and daily updates on our website.

Every contribution, however big or small, you can make will help us continue to do that now and in the future.

Thanks for reading this and the Coventry Observer.

Are you on Facebook?

Like or follow our Facebook page - facebook.com/CovObserver to get daily news updates straight to your news feed.

Property Finder 24/7

Search for properties in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Coventry Observer.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Coventry Observer.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.