The railway industry is helping key workers by giving them free parking at stations as the country responds to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Nationally, Network Rail has made an arrangement with its parking contractor APCOA so that, by downloading the APCOA Connect App and following a set of simple instructions, key workers from nurses and carers, to transport workers and supermarket employees, can park for free at locations across the country, including at London Paddington, Birmingham New Street and York, until 30 April.
At Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham Ellis Street and Reading, the car park barriers will automatically open and therefore there is no need to use the app.
David Biggs, managing director for Network Rail Property, said: “We recognise the tremendous effort all of our key workers are putting in during this challenging time. This simple gesture is about showing we care for those people who are caring for us, from the nurses in our NHS to the supermarket workers restocking shelves.
“We are relying on the goodwill of people at this difficult time to only use the free parking option if they are a key worker as defined by Government guidelines. This is an evolving situation so we’ll keep the offer under review and may choose to extend it beyond 30 April.”
Some regions of Network Rail have acted locally as well. The London North West region, for example, has removed charges for key workers at its car parks at Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street.
Train operators are responding to the call to. Great Western Railway, also working with APCOA, has offered free parking to all health care workers using station car parks.
GWR Head of Stations James Adeshiyan said: “At GWR we would like to offer our thanks to all NHS staff working through this incredibly challenging time.
“As key workers ourselves we are doing all we can to help essential staff get to and from work, and we hope this gesture will make your journey that little bit easier.”
GWR has approached all NHS Trusts where they manage a car park. NHS Trusts will contact their teams directly with details about how to take up the offer. Trusts already enrolled include: Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation; Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust; and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, among others.
Network Rail car parks with free key worker parking:
- Birmingham Ellis Street (app not required)
- Birmingham New Street (Short Stay)
- Bristol Temple Meads
- Chippenham Cocklebury Road
- Dartford Car Park
- Droitwich Spa
- Edinburgh Waverely (app not required)
- Llandudno Station
- Liverpool Lime Street (app not required)
- London Paddington
- Manchester Piccadilly (app not required)
- Manchester Victoria
- Reading Station Underground Short Stay (app not required)
- Swindon North Star Street
- Swindon Sheppard Street
- Walsall Car Park
- Welwyn Garden City
- Wigan Wallgate
- York Commuter