People attending vaccination appointments in Aberdeen should have access to free parking, it has been suggested.
Norco House – which until earlier this year was home to department store John Lewis – is now being used as a vaccination centre, with hundreds of people attending appointments each day.
However, there is currently no free parking nearby, leading to some visitors paying nearly £4 for an hour.
Glasgow and Edinburgh’s main vaccination centres both offer free parking – although they are located at venues with on-site car parks.
Kevin Stewart, the MSP for Aberdeen Central, has now called on Aberdeen City Council to offer free periods in city centre car parks – and has urged the Bon Accord shopping centre to do the same.
Parking ‘makes vaccination easier’
“The pandemic has hit the pockets of families in Aberdeen hard and the last thing folk need is having to fork out on parking so I’ve written to the council and the Bon Accord Centre to ask that they work together to provide one hour of free parking to people attending vaccine appointments,” Mr Stewart said.
“The vaccine still remains the most important step in combatting the virus, but parking charges around the city can put people off attending the city centre site – we should be taking every step possible to make it easier for people to receive their vaccination and providing free parking is one way to do that.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen that when there is a will, there is always a way, so let’s see what can be done here to make it that bit simpler and cheaper for folk in Aberdeen.”
Bon Accord ‘happy to discuss’
Vaccinations in Aberdeen were previously carried out at P&J Live, along with community clinics at smaller venues around the city.
Craig Stevenson, manager of the Bon Accord centre, said he would be “happy to discuss” offering free parking for those attending appointments.
“We are more than happy to discuss it with John Lewis and the NHS to see if there’s a way of operating this,” he said.
“Although we are a separate business we are happy to look at it and see if we can find a solution.”
Aberdeen City Council did not respond to requests for comment.