Parking charges for NHS staff axed as coronavirus petition gets 400,000 signatures
26 March 2020, 10:23 | Updated: 26 March 2020, 10:25
The UK government has agreed to give all NHS staff free parking,
As NHS workers continue to work night and day in the battle against the coronavirus outbreak, the government has been under immense pressure to scrap parking fees.
And after a nationwide outcry, now doctors and nurses will no longer have to pay to park at hospitals and other medical facilities for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak.
NHS workers will also be able to park for free in council-owned car parks and parking bays without time restriction or charge.
The National Car Parking Group confirmed it will provide frontline workers with free parking at all 150 of its car parks in England.
Social care staff and health service volunteers will also be exempt from parking charges.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted the move is in response to the "unprecedented challenge" faced by the NHS, as he said: "I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time.
"So we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.
"My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing.
"We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle Covid-19."
HS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Free parking will make a big difference for hundreds of thousands of frontline staff, but this is just the start, and we will setting out further support offers over the coming days and weeks, to ensure the NHS looks after those who look after all of us.”
This comes after 415,000 people signed a petition calling for parking charges to be scrapped earlier this week.
And Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan also joined the fight, insisting he would pay the fines of any public health-care worker ticketed while at work.
The 54-year-old told viewers he had seen “people at hospitals, nurses and doctors, who are getting parking tickets for overstaying their stay”, before promising to cover the costs of parking fines for health workers throughout the crisis.