Car parking charges at the GP Out of Hours Service in Craigavon are ‘outrageous and a tax on the sick’, says UKiP.
After a mum was forced to trudge with her three month old baby from the unit to the main hospital in order to pay for parking, UKiP Cllr David Jones branded the charges ‘abhorrent and uncalled for’.
Cllr Jones said: “She never thought she would have to pay but luckily enough had some monies with her.
“Imagine her dismay when she went to pay only to find the payment machine at the facility was out of order.
“This caused her to have to take her three month old child with her to the main building to make payment and then return through the inclement weather back to her car.”
A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said the hospital is a busy site with thousands of visitors and staff, a busy bus-route, ambulance traffic and essential delivery traffic and disruption due to the building oa new paediatric centre.
With more than 2,000 car parking places only 300 are paid places and located closest to the hospital entrance. An extra 210 car parking places are due to become available within the next few weeks.
“There are plans to upgrade car park signage to improve access and traffic flow and work will be underway shortly to clearly mark the areas of ‘acceptable’ parking, ensuring that footpaths, emergency vehicle and delivery routes are kept clear, adding that there will be a survey for staff and visitors views on car parking.
“We are also looking at the possibility of a park and ride service, aimed at staff, if suitable off-site parking could be sourced.
“We greatly appreciate the co-operation of everyone using the site while we make these improvements. To improve traffic flow on the site, we appeal to people to use consideration when they are parking. In particular not to park on yellow lines or zones for emergency vehicles, not to obstruct drop off points close to hospital entrances, and to leave disabled spaces for blue badge holders only.”