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Rona Mackay, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, has given her backing to an online petition calling for a private parking company at Glasgow Royal Infirmary to change their current parking charge to a £5 daily flat rate.

The indoor multi-story car park at the hospital was built as part of a controversial private finance initiative (PFI) redevelopment project in 2005 instigated by a Labour-Lib Dem coalition in the Scottish Parliament.

The car park is owned by private company Semperian and managed by APCOA who have recently increased parking charges for staff and visitors to the hospital.

Ms Mackay said: “Abolishing car parking charges at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary car park – as the SNP has done in NHS owned hospitals across Scotland – would be ideal, but unfortunately it is one of three car parks locked into long-term PFI contracts which precede this government. This amounts to a tax on ill-health.

“The Glasgow Royal Infirmary car park is a huge concern as there are no daily capped parking rates, unlike Ninewells (£2.40) and Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary (£7.20).

“As it currently stands staff and visitors need to pay up to £20 per day for parking, or £105 per month for a permit. This is an unnecessary financial burden visitors do not need, and neither do staff who are doing a brilliant job day in, day out.

“I will be writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman to ask if there is anything that she can do and to both Semperian, the owner of the car park and APCOA, who manages it, to ask them to support the petition and introduce a flat rate charge that works for staff and visitors to the hospital.

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