Bosses at York's hospital trust are launching free bus travel for staff in a bid to help workers and ease congestion.

The York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has announced it is funding a pilot scheme to provide free bus travel for staff to and from work in Scarborough and York.

From June 1, this will include all of the First York network - including the Park and Ride services - and the Number 10 Service run by East Yorkshire in Scarborough.

Staff do not have to apply, just show their trust ID badge to the bus driver.

A spokesperson for the York trust said: "We know that getting to and from work is a big issue for our staff. In recent years - and particularly as we come out of the pandemic - congestion around our sites has increased and is a cause of much stress and frustration, not only for our staff but for patients and visitors as well.

“As part of our investment in alternative travel options for staff, from June we are funding a pilot scheme to provide free bus travel for staff to and from work in Scarborough and York.

"We will be monitoring take up of the offer throughout the three-month pilot to determine sustainability of the scheme, which we hope can be continued for the future.”

Earlier this year, the Hospital Bus Park and Ride service in York, which connected Rawcliffe Bar Park & Ride and the hospital, was scrapped when the contract ended on April 1.

Councillors hit out at the impact this decision could have on vulnerable people needing to access the hospital and have launched a petition to call for the service to be retained.

A petition was launched to restore the service - and responses highlighted how important the service was to local residents.

In February, the hospital also announced changes to on-site parking charges. Staff members hit out at this decision, stating that it could "put people off working at the trust".

One staff member said: "If the people of York want a staffed hospital, they need to be aware of the problems the staff are facing."

York Press: The trust's chief executive, Simon MorrittThe trust's chief executive, Simon Morritt (Image: NHS/Newsquest)

During a meeting of the trust’s board in late April, the organisation’s chief executive, Simon Morritt, said that the planned parking charges would be revised and depending on the distance that staff lived from their place of work, they would be eligible to apply for a parking permit.

Mr Morritt said: "We have revised the criteria which effectively includes a perimeter around the hospital and if you live outside that, you are eligible to apply for a parking permit."

While the parking charges will not be scrapped, it will allow many staff members to apply for a free parking permit.