The NHS Trust that runs Scarborough Hospital will reintroduce staff parking charges from June with the use of number plate recognition cameras.

The York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has said that it will reintroduce staff parking charges from June 12 after they were suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The parking charges are set to be standardised across sites with different rates depending on pay bands.

As part of the plan, automatic number plate recognition technology and replacement barriers are being installed at York, Scarborough, and Bridlington according to an email sent to staff.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “The Government’s financial support for providing free car parking for all NHS staff during the pandemic ended on April 1 2022, and although as a Trust we are not funded to provide free parking for staff, we chose not to reintroduce parking charges immediately despite many trusts doing so.”

They added: “There was a difference in rates across sites which was perceived to be unfair as staff on the same bands and in the same roles were charged differently depending on their base site.

“The decision was made to move towards a single rate across the Trust in several incremental steps, and this began before the pandemic.”

The MP for Scarborough and Whitby, Sir Robert Goodwill told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he thought it was a “tough decision but the right decision”.

However, concerns have been raised that the reintroduction of parking charges could lead to more staff using residential on-street parking which has led to complaints from locals.

Sir Robert said: “I get letters from people living nearby, places like Hovingham Drive, complaining that doctors or nurses are parking on their streets and making it difficult for their visitors to come to the house, so I think that the principle of paying for parking makes sense, economically.”

Asked whether he thought the reintroduction of the fees would increase parking on residential streets, the Conservative member of parliament said: “I think the charges need to be at a realistic level… and I think it’s not unrealistic to expect people to pay for a facility provided by their employer.

“It is not unusual for employers to charge for parking, certainly in locations where there is a lot of pressure.”

Sarah Dodsworth, Regional Director for the Royal College of Nursing in Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Like many hospitals the demand for parking spaces always outstrips supply.

“Congestion around hospital sites has increased over time and is the cause of stress and frustration for staff, patients, and visitors alike.”

She added: “It is more important than ever that nursing staff can travel to their place of work without the worry of car parking and parking charges, especially when they are working long hours or extra shifts or trying to make ends meet as the cost of living continues to increase.”

As part of the planned change, staff who do not drive to work will be able to make use of free bus travel to and from work in Scarborough and York, including the Number 10 Service run by East Yorkshire Buses in Scarborough.