Car parking is now free at all hospitals in Wales
Cardiff University’s hospital was one of the first to abolish fees in June
Wales is one of the first countries in the UK to introduce charge free parking at all of their NHS hospitals.
Parking is now free at all Welsh hospitals, including Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales in Heath, which abolished all fees earlier in June this year. Prior to this, there were complaints after a private firm, Indigo, was charging people up to £10 a day to park their cars there.
Free car parking at the University Hospital will now make it easier for medical and health students at Cardiff University to drive and park at the Heath Campus or at the hospital whilst on their placements.
Validated tickets and number plate sensors will be implemented however, to stop the abuse of these free car parks by members of the public who are not affiliated with the hospitals.
Discussions regarding the abolishment of hospital car parking fees first took place 10 years ago, after it was revealed that Welsh hospitals were collecting more than £5 million a year from car parking fees.
As a result of this, there had been campaigns across Wales against the unfair and expensive charges. They were even denounced by the British Medical Association as a "tax on the sick".
After 10 years of campaigns and government talks, all hospital car parks in Wales are finally charge free as of this week, after the final hospitals in Carmarthenshire scrapped their charges and contracts with private parking firms.
The abolition of hospital car parking charges in Wales has been welcomed by the Welsh Government.
A government spokesman has said: "We are pleased to see free parking is now in place at all hospitals in Wales.
"Car parking charges are often an unfair expense on people frequently attending NHS hospitals, whether they are patients, staff or visitors.
"Free parking provides a fairer and more consistent approach to parking policy."
Despite Wales' success in making hospital car parking fairer for staff, patients and visitors, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland still charge car parking fees in all of their NHS hospitals.