Over the last year, parking charges have been slowly re-introduced for NHS workers at trusts across the country, following the pausing of charges during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some hospitals extended their period of free car parking for NHS workers after it officially ended on 1 April 2022, many have now re-introduced parking charges for staff.
Some staff do have the option to apply for parking permits, which often include maximum capped fee rates. However not all staff have been able to secure them - with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) stating that “demand for parking permits on all sites is higher than the spaces available.”
With the rising cost of living, frontline workers are seeking ways to cut down on travelling costs, whether that be by seeking NHS car discounts, or in the form of parking fees.
To avoid paying for standard hospital car park tariffs, some staff have resorted to parking on side streets to seek cheaper parking costs.
In Nottingham, some workers at nearby hospitals told Nottinghamshire Live that they had “no choice but to park on side streets” due to being unable to get parking permits.
While this may be done in the short term to save money - it’s not always guaranteed that workers will be able to get back to their car in time. One UNISON survey found that almost two thirds of NHS workers rarely leave work on time.
How is the lack of parking permits impacting parking charges?
To understand, Motorfinity looked at the parking fines that local councils have issued on five side streets closest to the 100 largest hospitals in the UK.
Motorfinity conducted Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the local councils responsible for issuing parking penalty charge notices (PCN).
We asked for the number of parking fines issued for five of the roads closest to each hospital. We also asked for the total amount accumulated by each council from the total of fines issued on those streets in the years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Motorfinity also conducted FOIs to all hospitals, however the majority of them said the data they have is not site specific due to the parking charges on hospital sites being collected by third parties.
Overall, Bristol Council has administered the most fines in the last five years surrounding Bristol Royal Infirmary - 8,411.
2022 saw the council issue the highest level of fines, too, at 2,129, including on St Michaels Hill and Dighton Street.
Bristol Council has received £246,658 from parking fines on streets surrounding the hospital in the last five years - and £55,837 in 2022 alone.
In second place is Brighton Council, which is responsible for the parking fines on the streets surrounding Brighton General Hospital - and has issued 7,878 fines in the last five years for roads including Elm Grove and Freshfield Road. Brighton Council accumulated £51,333 in 2022.
Other councils that issued a large number of fines for side streets near hospitals include Luton Council (Luton and Dunstable Hospital), Wigan Council (Royal Albert Edward Infirmary), and Derby City Council (Royal Derby Hospital).
In terms of money accumulated, the London Borough of Richmond has accrued the most for fines in the UK, for the five roads surrounding Kingston Hospital - £56,444 in 2022, and £324,068 in the last five years. This is despite issuing 790 fewer fines than Bristol Council in 2022 (1,339 vs 2,129).
Bristol, Brighton, Derby and Luton councils all followed suit here too, however Hammersmith also fairs highly for Charing Cross Hospital, which accumulated over £40,000 in 2022.
Motorfinity goes the extra mile to provide fantastic discounts on cars for frontline workers including NHS discount cars Police, fire and rescue, emergency services, military personnel (including veterans), teachers and more can also access discounts on cars. Find out if you are eligible here.
We issued Freedom of Information requests to local councils responsible for issuing penalty charge notices (PCN) for the roads surrounding local councils.
We asked the questions:
1. How many parking fines were issued by your Council on the below streets in the years of 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022?
2. 2. Can you provide details of how much money was accumulated by your Council from the total of fines issued on the below streets in the years of 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022?
Road data was collected, where councils could provide the data, to create this report.
Data correct as of February 2023.