Politicians, community groups and trade unions are backing the Tele’s call for parking charges at Ninewells Hospital to be frozen.
We launched the Freeze the Fees campaign after Indigo Infra Dundee Ltd revealed plans to increase tariffs next month.
Because it was built under a private finance initiative (PFI), the Ninewells car park is one of only three at Scottish hospitals where staff, patients and visitors have to pay.
It would cost the Scottish Government millions of pounds to buy out Indigo’s contract.
Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison said: “Indigo has clearly made a lot of money through this PFI contract and freezing charges would be a step in the right direction.”
To avoid paying for parking, hospital visitors often leave their cars outside the homes of local people, and Peter Menzies, chairman of West End Community Council, said: “I think the situation is ridiculous and scandalous. The strain on residents needs to be alleviated.”
Local councillor Fraser Macpherson said he has had a “100% negative response” from constituents about parking fees.
He said: “The problem of overspill from the hospital itself has been exacerbated by a rise in fees.”
Both the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the British Medical Association say the cost of parking has a negative impact on hospital staff.
Senior officer at RCN Scotland, Bob McGlashan, said: “Parking costs are an extra financial pressure on hard–working nurses and healthcare support workers at Ninewells Hospital.
“Any increase in the current charges would merely add to that burden.”
Rising parking fees are also damaging to elderly people, who have to visit the hospital more often.
Eric Cramb, committee member of the Dundee Pensioners Forum, said: “It’s just another irritating additional expense and a sort of punishment for not being well.”