Network Rail has today announced it is offering key workers free parking at 24 locations across Britain, as the country responds to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

By downloading the APCOA Connect App and following a set of simple instructions, key workers from nurses and carers, to transport workers and supermarket employees, can park for free at locations across the country, including at London Paddington, Birmingham New Street and York, until 30 April.

At Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham Ellis Street and Reading, the car park barriers will automatically open and therefore there is no need to use the app.

David Biggs, managing director for Network Rail Property, said: “We recognise the tremendous effort all of our key workers are putting in during this challenging time. This simple gesture is about showing we care for those people who are caring for us, from the nurses in our NHS to the supermarket workers restocking shelves.

“We are relying on the goodwill of people at this difficult time to only use the free parking option if they are a key worker as defined by Government guidelines. This is an evolving situation so we’ll keep the offer under review and may choose to extend it beyond 30 April.”

The announcement follows the Government’s recent decision that local councils will suspend car parking fees for NHS and care workers across the country.

Some Network Rail station managers across the network have also offered free parking for NHS and care workers in their own locally managed car parks. For further details, visit www.networkrail.co.uk/parking.

Meanwhile, people are reminded that with only essential travel being recommended during the coronavirus pandemic, a reduced timetable is operating on the rail network.

This will ensure that critical supplies and key workers, like carers and NHS staff, are able to keep moving over the coming months to help tackle the spread of COVID-19.

People are advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk every day to check the new train times.

Find out where to park and how to park for free at www.networkrail.co.uk/parking

Car park operator APCOA manages the car parks for Network Rail.

Key workers as defined by Government guidelines.

How to access free parking:

At Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool and Reading, the car park barriers will automatically open and therefore there is no need to use the app.

For the remaining sites, key workers need to download the APCOA Connect App, and follow the steps below.

Getting set up:

  • Download the APCOA Connect app from your app store
  • Create an account or sign in to your existing account

Once you're parked:

  • Go into the app and select ‘Buy Parking’
  • Search for ‘car park name – NHS’ (i.e. Paddington – NHS) and select for free parking at this location
  • Select your vehicle by adding your vehicle registration mark (VRM)
  • Select your parking duration and select ‘pay’. You can extend your session at any time.
  • All tariffs are set to £0.00, but to ensure you do not get charged a 10p reminder fee, you must turn off all reminders in ‘Settings’ within the app.

Car parks with free key worker parking:

  • Birmingham Ellis Street (app not required)
  • Birmingham New Street (Short Stay)
  • Blackheath
  • Bristol Temple Meads
  • Chippenham Cocklebury Road
  • Chislehurst
  • Dartford Car Park
  • Droitwich Spa
  • Edinburgh Waverely (app not required)
  • Letchworth
  • Llandudno Station
  • Liverpool Lime Street (app not required)
  • London Paddington
  • Manchester Piccadilly (app not required)
  • Manchester Victoria
  • Reading Station Underground Short Stay (app not required)
  • Swindon North Star Street
  • Swindon Sheppard Street
  • Uckfield
  • Walsall Car Park
  • Welwyn Garden City
  • Whitstable
  • Wigan Wallgate
  • York Commuter

More information can be found at www.networkrail.co.uk/parking