The idea of paid parking remains a controversial one. In the UK, there is currently a debate of hospital parking. Should hospital parking be free?
A recent article in The Guardian shone light on this debate and the consequences of free parking at NHS hospitals. When you first think about this, it makes sense to provide free parking to those who are ill or visiting people at the hospital. These people are already going through so much. Why would we add another burden?
The problem with that idea and one which this article explains is that free parking for drivers doesn't mean it is free. It simply means it is being subsidized, and this subsidy doesn't necessarily benefit those who need it most.
Another fundamental flaw with free parking is that it can burden the property more than it can benefit. Free car parks tend to be full, and the lack of funds means that hospitals cannot invest in parking solutions that will benefit the driver. When visiting a hospital, time is of the essence, and investing in signage and parking guidance systems could significantly reduce the time spent looking for parking.
In the end, we can all understand both sides of the controversy, but we must look past our initial opinions and consider what is the best solution for patients, for hospitals, for hospital workers, and for the healthcare systems.
What solution do you propose?