Sunderland’s NHS staff shouldn’t be “punished” by paying “extortionate parking charges”

Local councillors in Sunderland have hit out at revelations that the Government are going to end free parking for NHS staff.

Niall Hodson

Lib Dem councillor for Millfield Niall Hodson

During the coronavirus crisis, NHS staff have been able to park at Sunderland Royal Hospital and other hospitals across the region without having to pay.

The charges were dropped so that nurses, cleaners and other hospital staff could get to work without extra charges or hassle.

But now the Government is set to end the free parking, arguing the coronavirus crisis is easing.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat councillor for Millfield Niall Hodson, who represents the area around Sunderland Royal Hospital, said:

"Our NHS staff and social care workers in Sunderland have been putting themselves on the front line every single day to protect us. It is absolutely right that they shouldn't be punished for parking at work, especially when it isn't as safe as usual for them to be using public transport.

"Even if this Covid-19 crisis was close to being over, scrapping free parking for NHS staff shows that the Government have learned nothing. We have been clapping for carers over the past few months - but we must match that with real action to improve things for NHS and care workers.

"That's why extortionate parking charges for NHS staff should be axed, and why health and social care workers deserve a decent pay rise. Sadly, it doesn't look like the Government will give them either."

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