|Cars parked all the way along Ninewells Avenue avoiding the charges|
I am calling for an end to car parking charges at Ninewells Hospital, which is in the West End ward. I have been calling for the end to this policy since 2009. This policy is a further cost to NHS staff who have suffered years of pay freezes. I am clear that there is no such thing as a 'free' car parking space, they must be paid for in some way and must also be regulated.
I want to see an end to car parking charges at Ninewells. If free car parking at hospitals is the policy of the Scottish Government then it should apply in Dundee just as much as anywhere else in Scotland. Taxpayers in Dundee are paying for 'free' car parking at hospitals across Scotland. I know that I will be told that Labour agreed to the contract, if the Scottish Government thinks free car parking is the way forward then the contract should be bought out in Dundee. I want to do what is right for my community not worry about the rights and wrongs and political point scoring of who made the original decision.
We should also be clear that 'free' car parking is a cost to the NHS budget nationally. In Dundee charging for car parking is a further tax on NHS staff and ill people and their families and friends. I am not advocating a free for all at Ninewells just that staff should be able to get free parking when they are working and that people attending for appointments or for reasonable visiting should also get free spaces.
We must also do all that we can to make Ninewells accessible to people without the need to take their car to the hospital. The current policy either penalises those who pay or encourages others to park in the surrounding streets becoming a nuisance to many of my constituents. I have written to NHS Tayside and to the Cabinet Secretary for Health about this issue.