North-east SNP MSP Mark McDonald last week called for NHS Grampian to review its policy on hospital parking permits for student doctors and nurses.
In a letter to Chief Executive Richard Carey, Mr. McDonald requested that NHS Grampian give consideration to make the permits available to student doctors and nurses who live in areas that are not served with regular public transport services in the evenings and early mornings.
The letter comes after a constituent approached Mr. McDonald with her concerns after learning that the final park and ride bus leaves the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary complex at 7:20pm – sometime before many evening shifts for student nurses, who often work from 7:30am to 7:30pm, finish.
The only alternative is for students to park in already congested residential streets around the hospital campus, in paid bays which often carry time restrictions and which will see a rise from £2 to £6 a day in charges – a significant rise for those with limited means.
Commenting, Mr. McDonald said: “I was concerned to learn that student doctors and nurses who live beyond the reaches of a regular public transport service have so few options for getting to and from work safely.
“Given the timings of the last park and ride bus, and the limited services to and from the hospital complex that link in with services to more rural areas, there are also clear safety concerns about students finishing work late at night, particularly on dark winter evenings.
“I hope that NHS Grampian will give the matter serious consideration.”