Park the Charges - our campaign for free hospital car parking for carers
Carers UK is working with Julie Cooper MP to campaign to make hospital parking free for carers in England.
Why we're campaigning on this
We know that hospital car parking is a big issue for many carers. Visiting hospital with someone you care for is tough enough, without the stress of having to renew the parking ticket, the time it takes, and even just having the right change, not to mention the cost which can run into hundreds of pounds each year.
Julie Cooper MP wanted to introduce new legislation to Parliament which would exempt carers entitled to Carer's Allowance from NHS hospital car parking charges in England. The Hospital Parking Charges (Exemption for Carers) Bill was presented to Parliament and debated in the House of Commons on 30 October 2015.
Unfortunately the Bill failed to win enough support in Parliament to progress to its next stage, making it almost impossible for it to become law. You can read what MPs said in the debate here.
We’re disappointed, but not defeated by the outcome.
As a result of the Bill and your support, the Department of Health has updated its guidance on hospital parking charges to specifically include carers – for the very first time – as a group for which concessions, such as free or reduced charges or caps, should be available.
Whilst these are guidelines and not legal duties on hospitals, we believe this is a step towards tackling the unfair burden hospital parking charges place on carers.
We are asking supporters to contact their local NHS Trust to tell them about the changes and ask what concessions will be now available for carers, in light of the new guidance.
Thank you for your support and for sharing your experience to help us highlight the huge contribution carers make to our society. We will continue making a noise about the issues that affect carers.