Healthcare permit parking scheme could expand after success of pilot project

A pilot scheme to allow carers to park for free when on home visits has proved a success, and looks set to be extended in the New Year.

It was introduced across Cornwall in April this year, since when almost 1,500 permits have been issued to staff of Care Quality Commission accredited care organisations.

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Now the council is looking to offer the same terms to community nurses to allow them to spend as much time as possible delivering vital care services to the person they care for.

The Healthcare Permit parking scheme works in a similar way to the blue badge scheme for disabled people.  Carers are issued with a yellow badge which they are able to place in their windscreen, set the time and then park for up to an hour in many places where they wouldn’t normally be allowed to park. 

Even with the Healthcare Permit, parking still isn’t allowed in loading bays or at bus stops or on zig zag lines outside of building like schools and hospitals.  Specific parking bays such as those reserved for disabled drivers, doctors, taxis or residents are also not included in the scheme. 

There is no charge for a Healthcare permit which is vehicle specific.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for transport, said:  “We introduced the scheme in April as a pilot, and always said we would like to extend it if it proved successful.

“I have remained convinced that the benefits to both carers and those members of the community they look after far outweighs the cost of the management of the scheme, and so I have asked officers to work up proposals for extending the scheme to community nurses in the New Year.”