Homeowners give up driveways for Scots nurses
NHS staff are approaching homeowners living near Glasgow’s new Queen Elizabeth Hospital and begging for parking spaces so they can get to work on time.
The hospital employs more than 10,000 staff but a nearby 24-hour parking facility only holds up to 3,000 cars.
The shortfall saw dozens of opportunistic homeowners charging medical staff to park in their driveways for as much as £70 a week.
But residents of Earlston Park housing estate, beside the maternity unit at the Southern General Hospital, have been giving their spaces away free of charge.
Local businessman Jim Creaney, 49, who owns several properties on the estate, said he would “never consider taking money” so a nurse could get to work.
He said: “There’s a massive problem in the area with doctors and nurses trying to get parked in the mornings so they can get in for their shifts.
“Residents have had nurses coming to their doors with letters asking if they can pay to use their driveways and parking spots during the day.
“I know that there were some folk on the estate who were charging them to park but I would never consider taking money from them.
“My daughter was in Yorkhill for treatment and you just do what you can to help them get in with as little hassle as possible.
“There’s a nurse who uses one of my spaces most days. She comes in during the morning and finishes around 5pm.
“There’s a number of people who are doing the same on the estate. You don’t want them struggling to get in to work.
The nurse who uses the parking space did not wish to be named, but said she was “very grateful” for his help and kind gesture.
The streets surrounding the hospital are heavily patrolled by traffic wardens during the week and one homeowner claimed he had once seen wardens have a doctor’s car towed away.
Some of the residents who were charging staff a premium rate had been using a website called JustPark which offered various rates per day with a commission on top. But resident Jimmy Armstrong, 43, a warehouse worker, said he happily gave up his driveway to a local nurse for free.
He said: “I give out my drive to a nurse and I don’t take a penny from her for it and I know there are others on the street who do the same.
“My daughter was in a paediatric hospital for six months so it’s the very least I can do for someone looking after sick people.
“I would give up the space to anyone who needed to go in for an appointment too - there’s a massive shortage of parking here.
“But there’s only 3,000 spaces for 10,000 people working at the hospital just across the road.
“Until the politicians and local councillors are embarrassed into doing something to fix it, then we’re still going to have this problem.”
Glasgow City Council has plans to introduce a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in streets with a G51 postcode.
The CPZ would cost residents £50 a year to park on their own street, and visitors would be forced to pay £2 for six hours.
A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Car parking permits are issued to staff who require a car to carry out the duties of their job.
“All other staff are encouraged to use public transport. Approximately 90 buses an hour service the hospital.”