Tyne & Wear

Durham council criticised for free staff parking while nurses charged

University Hospital of North Durham car park Image copyright Google
Image caption Staff and the public have to pay to park at the University Hospital of North Durham

Charging nurses to park while well-paid council directors have free parking has been criticised.

Durham County Council provides more than 1,000 free parking spaces for workers and elected councillors at County Hall in Durham city.

But at nearby University Hospital of North Durham parking costs £6 a day.

Liberal Democrat opposition councillor Mark Wilkes criticised the council for "out-of-date travel plans" and employers who "don't have one at all".

"There's thousands of cars parked at County Hall with no charges, directors earning £140,000-a-year paying nothing to park here, while across the road [at University Hospital of North Durham] nurses pay to park," he said.

Walking and cycling

The council's current base has 1,028 parking spaces, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The new HQ being built will have access to 337 spaces, of which 200 will be set aside for staff and councillors during working hours.

The council's strategic traffic manager Dave Wafer said it was investing up to £21m on improving walking, cycling, public transport and park and ride, subject to government funding.

Staff had access to a range of information on sustainable travel options, he said.

Follow BBC North East & Cumbria on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to northeastandcumbria@bbc.co.uk.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites