Steps aim to improve parking at hospitals in Southern Trust area

Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc
Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc

Steps are being taken to address issues raised on parking at hospitals within the Southern Trust area - including Craigavon and Daisy Hill.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust undertook the survey on car parking and traffic management on its busy hospital sites.

Most service users and staff (over 90%) reported that they drive to hospital sites by car and do not wish to use another method of travel.

The majority of service users did not have a difficulty using paid parking if it is the first available space whereas free parking and convenience are the main factors when choosing a parking space for staff.

Some of the key themes highlighted include: Difficulty finding spaces; Abuse of disabled spaces; dangers of parking in unauthorised areas e.g. drop off zones, emergency access, footpaths; need for stricter enforcement; speed control; better signage; better public transport/park and ride; and facilities for cyclists.

In response to the survey the Trust has taken a number of actions to help improve traffic flow and car parking including: Site surveys to better understand parking patterns; creation of additional spaces; traffic calming measures including pedestrian crossings and signage; and new lighting and CCTV at Daisy Hill Hospital.

Vivienne Toal, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development for the Southern Trust said: “Traffic management continues to be a major issue for us, particularly around our very busy hospital sites and we understand the frustration of those trying to access services or get to work on time.

“While there are challenges across all hospital sites, we appreciate there are particular difficulties at Daisy Hill where the scope to create additional spaces is limited and we are currently exploring a range of options to ease congestion.

“There are also particular car parking challenges at Lurgan Hospital due to ongoing works. We hope to progress this work soon and in the meantime plan to construct a walkway to ensure pedestrian safety in the interim.

“This survey is part of our ongoing strategy to identify priority areas for improving car parking and traffic flow.

“We are in the process of introducing a number of measures to help improve the experience for those who use and work in our hospitals including better signage, identifying additional spaces, improved road markings, improved facilities for cyclists and are planning the implementation of enforcement arrangements in the very near future.