Hospital parking problems 'nothing new'

But hospital parking woes to continue 'for years'

CATE BROUGHTON
Last updated 09:59 18/07/2014
Christchurch Hospital car parking
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

PARKING AT A PREMIUM: Peter Soal from Ashburton feeds the meter near Christchurch Hospital.

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Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates says car parking problems at Christchurch Hospital are nothing new, and will continue for the next six to seven years.

''This has been part of our landscape for the past three years and we have worked through the issues with all the relevant parties,'' he told CDHB members at a meeting yesterday.

He said access to parking had been maintained at the same level for many years, but challenges would increase in September when work on the redevelopment of the hospital got under way. 

Preparation of the site for construction will mean the loss of the 130-space car park on hospital grounds. 

Staff who needed urgent access to the facility could call on orderlies and security staff for help with car parking, and this arrangement would be more formalised in September. 

A park-and-ride system would be trialled in September, to aid access to the hospital.

More significant changes - and solutions - would take place from December 31, with the loss of 700 to 800 spaces at the car park on the Old Brewery site, where the Metro Sports Facility is to be built, Meates said. 

Board members asked if ideas to address the problem had been considered and were told several options were being worked on.

Board member Aaron Keown asked Meates why work to address the issue had not been made public but was shut down by board chairman Murray Cleverley, who said the meeting was not an appropriate forum for questions on strategies.

Board member Anna Crighton asked if staff were taking into account the impact of the Metro Sports Facility and the Cricket World Cup, and if they were working with other organisations. 

Meates said they were aware of the potential impact of the activities and were working closely with other authorities, as they had already done after the earthquakes. 

The arrangement with Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and Christchurch City Council to lease the Old Brewery site for parking was an example of collaboration to address the issue, he said. 

Board member Andrew Dickerson asked if a public-private arrangement had been considered, and was told by Meates there were no restrictions on ideas for solutions to the problem.

Replacement of cycle parking at the hospital would also be considered, but alternative locations would depend on land availability and demolitions in the area.

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