For immediate release – March 31, 2020
GMB Calls for the Extension of Free Parking for NHS Staff Indefinitely
GMB, the Union for NHS staff, has called for the indefinite extension of the UK governments scheme to suspend NHS staff parking charges in England.
The Union claimed a major victory last week, as the government agreed to provide money to NHS trusts and local government to ensure that NHS staff aren’t out of pocket as they work to fight this deadly disease, in line with the Unions long running campaign. 
Whilst the Government has temporarily paused charges for NHS staff during the Coronavirus crisis, there has been no commitment on after the COVID19 outbreak has been declared over. 
It comes as Robyn Read, a GMB activist working for Bristol Water, ran a successful campaign in Bristol encouraging local residents in Redland and Cotham to donate their visitors passes to NHS staff working at the University Hospitals Trust Complex. 
The campaign started as NHS staff were advised not to take public transport to contain the COVID19 spread. So far the campaign has pledges meaning that NHS staff in the area can park for free for around 100 days.
The campaign has been hugely successful, with the trust and Bristol’s Labour Mayor, and GMB member Marvin Rees praising the campaign and making the Trenchard Street carpark in Bristol free to NHS Staff. 
However, Robyn and GMB argue that the benefit should be extended to indefinitely to hard pressed NHS staff, who are likely to see increased workloads in the coming months as the Coronavirus crisis worsens and a backlog of cancelled operations and procedures hits the NHS.
Robyn Read, GMB activist and leader of the campaign said:
“Last week we saw just NHS staff means to people up and down this country, with hundreds of thousands of people coming to their doors to clap for our NHS heroes who put themselves at the frontline of fighting this deadly virus.
“It’s no good for the government to back them just when there’s a global pandemic, they need to put their hands in their pocket and support our NHS staff workers all year round.
“Once this crisis is over it’s no good heading back to business as usual – it’s time for us all to repay our huge debt to our NHS workers, and we can start that by ensuring they don’t have to pay to be at work”
Notes to editors:
Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at [email protected]
 Ministers grant free parking to NHS and social care workers during crisis https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/ministers-grant-free-parking-nhs-and-social-care-workers-during-crisis
 Free car parking for all NHS staff after 400,000 people sign petition https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/26/nhs-staff-get-free-parking-hospitals-12458238/
 Residents near Bristol hospitals give away their parking permits to NHS staff https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/residents-near-bristol-hospitals-give-3984474
 Marvin Rees tweet – https://twitter.com/MarvinJRees/status/1242042986579574784