Parking fine!

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CATHCART MSP James Dornan has welcomed news that Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS staff, patients and visitors have saved a total of £4 million in car parking charges since their abolition in 2008.

Mr Dornan’s constituency includes the Victoria hospital, one of the seven in the Greater Glasgow authority where charges were scrapped.

Figures reveal that £13m has been saved by NHS staff, patients and visitors across Scotland since charges were abolished five years ago.

Mr Dornan told The Extra: “The Scottish Government was right to abolish car parking charges where possible, sticking to the principle that our NHS is a service there to serve people and not to make profits.

 “With the Victoria hospital being one of the main institutions in my constituency, I’m delighted to see that the 
abolition of these charges have saved staff, patients and 
visitors so much across Glasgow and here in my the southside.

 “I understand that boards are working on the potential increase in demand, the promotion of greener transport and the possible misuse of spaces by commuters and others.

“This is something that I will pay attention to as their work progresses.”

The Cathcart representative continued: “Although health secretary Alex Neil has made it clear that he would like to abolish charges at PFI car parks, the last Labour executive in Scotland have locked boards in to long-term contracts with operators.

“However, the government is committed to new models of funding which mean that the private sector can’t make excessive profits at the taxpayers’ expense.”

Meanwhile, west of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw has hit out at recent figures which indicate health chiefs have spent around £1m per year on taxi fares for patients.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde refused to reveal their taxi spending.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Mr Carlaw said: “Budgets are tight and this is a luxury that should only be afforded when it is actually needed.

“It shouldn’t be the case that patients perfectly able to use public transport should be chauffeured to and from hospital.”