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Could you cut the car miles? NHS Highland asks motorists the question in a bid to reduce pressure on parking at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness

By Ian Duncan

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Next time you're parking at Raigmore Hospital you might notice that the car park looks a little different as NHS Highland is asking drivers to think about cutting the car miles.

New signs have been installed asking drivers to switch from their car to walking, cycling, lift-sharing or using public transport, as part of measures to reduce pressure on parking.

The signs ask drivers to cut the car miles and points out benefits – such as reduced parking stress, helping the NHS by leaving a space for others, helping the NHS to reach zero carbon targets, and feeling good from being more active.

One of the new signs in the car park at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
One of the new signs in the car park at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

David Mackay, head of facilities for NHS Highland, said: "We know that parking at Raigmore Hospital can be stressful for patients, visitors and our staff.

“Although the car park has been expanded, and our new management measures involving a barrier system will help separate staff and patient parking, the car park is still often full.

“Room to expand is severely limited so we have to reduce the numbers of cars coming in. The new signage is asking drivers to consider swapping to active and sustainable transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.

“We recognise that many will still need to travel by car but we're asking people to try swapping if they possibly can, especially if they're just driving a mile or two across Inverness or if they are handy for a bus stop. If drivers left the car at home even one day a week, or for their next appointment, that would be a huge help."

Dan Jenkins, senior public health specialist, said: “Being more active for everyday journeys is a great way to support your physical and mental health, which in turn reduces pressure on the NHS. Fewer cars make our communities and the hospital safer and cleaner and more attractive.

“We, as an organisation, must also play our part in tackling climate breakdown, which is a huge health crisis as well."

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