Staff at an Angus medical centre have urged drivers not to abuse their car park, and have threatened to have cars towed away.
The Medical Centre in the Arbroath’s Hill Street has seen a spike in the numbers of people who are not patients using the car park since pay-to-park was introduced across off-street car parks across the county.
It is making it difficult for some patients to access the facility.
Centre administrator Paula Russell said: “It has been an issue for some time, but it has definitely got worse since parking charges were introduced and it may be that we start having cars towed away.
“Recently, four patients who came to see the nurse had each said they couldn’t get parked in the car park.
“We are now monitoring the situation daily and we have been in contact with the police over the situation.
“We can tell when vehicles do not belong to patients because the car park can be busy even when no surgeries are running.
“We have also put out an appeal on social media asking people to stop using our parking facilities if they are not visiting the centre and people agree that the car park shouldn’t be abused in this way.”
As a deterrent, staff are also going to leave notices on vehicles parked by those not using the health centre in a bid to stop the practice.
Arbroath East and Lunan Independent Councillor Lois Speed said: “I am deeply disappointed to hear that people are misusing the health centre car park.
“The car park is for patients who need medical assistance, and may be vulnerable, not for people to use simply because it is convenient for them.
Ms Speed, who is also chair of the NHS Tayside Integrated Joint Board, said: “The fact is that Arbroath has plenty of free parking spaces, including thirty minutes free parking, and there are other options too, including pay-to-park in our off street car parks.
“I also want to underline that we are working on alternative solutions to the issue of car parks – a working group is being set up to address this – but I would urge people in the meantime to be considerate to those who need to park close their health care provider.”