More than 18,000 people have signed a petition calling for free car parking for NHS staff.
The petition, on the government’s official site for e-petitions – claims it is “disgraceful” that underpaid healthcare staff have to worry about paying for parking.
Nursing assistant Abigail Smith launched the petition because she felt frontline staff should not have to pay to park at work.
She said: “The parking prices are extortionately high as many care parks are now owned and operated by private companies.”
A government response to the petition states that car parking policies “cannot be set nationally”.
The response reads: “NHS organisations make decisions locally about the provision of care parking to patients, visitors and staff to best meet local requirements. Organisations should consider the needs of patients, visitors and staff when making these decisions.
“Providing parking for staff is a cost to the NHS organisation. The direct costs of providing parking include equipment such as barriers, payment machines, signage, lighting, insurance, security, administration and maintenance.”
If the petition collects more than 100,000 signatures, the issue will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.