Hundreds of hospital staff in Aberdeen are waiting for a permit to park their cars at work.
New figures show that 513 NHS Grampian workers are languishing on the health board’s parking permit waiting list.
The figure dwarfs the 88 waiting at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the 47 at NHS Tayside, and is topped only by the 1,236-strong list at NHS Lothian.
Perennial parking problems have been a source of frustration for staff and patients at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for years.
A new 1,000-space car park was built as a result of a £10million donation from oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, but it is exclusively for patients and visitors.
Scottish Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Miles Briggs, who obtained the waiting list figures, said: “MSPs across the country are always being contacted about just how hard it is to get parked at hospitals.
“If we have thousands of staff awaiting a permit, you can imagine how difficult it is for patients and visitors.
“Health workers are under enough strain without having to spend ages before their shift looking for a parking space.”
In the north-east, staff permits are issued for Aberdeen’s Royal Cornhill Hospital and Foresterhill Health Campus, with the majority of the waiting list taken up by staff applying for a Foresterhill permit.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman added: “An estimated 7,000 members of NHS Grampian staff call the Foresterhill Health Campus their main base; with around 1,400 staff spaces available demand will always outstrip supply.
“There is little scope to significantly increase staff parking on the campus at present.
“The site is set for major development in the coming years and with each new project we examine the potential for increasing the parking available.
“We also keep the waiting list under regular review and issue permits where possible.
“However we have a duty to promote sustainable transport options and to preserve the small amounts of green space remaining on the site.
“It will never be possible to provide parking for everyone coming to Foresterhill – whether staff or visitor – and we encourage everyone attending the site to car share, arrange lifts, walk, cycle or use public transport wherever possible.”