Thousands more NHS patients and visitors will be able to access free hospital car-parking, the government says.

From April, all 206 hospital trusts in England will be expected to begin offering the concession in line with the government’s manifesto promise.

Those with the “greatest need” will benefit.

That includes groups such as people with disabilities and NHS staff working night shifts.

Currently, hourly charges at hospitals for parking vary between £1 and £4. It is up to trusts to make their own car parking arrangements.

NHS hospital car parking fees were abolished in Scotland and Wales in 2008, although a small number of hospitals in Scotland still charge as they remain tied in to contracts with private companies that manage their parking facilities. Fees may be charged in

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