Hospital parking woes to get worse

CATE BROUGHTON
Last updated 05:00 17/07/2014
Mary Gordon
Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ
END TO PARKING WOES?: Solutions could include a park and ride plan and a revised traffic flow around the hospital, CDHB executive director of nursing Mary Gordon said.

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Christchurch Hospital's parking woes are set to worsen with the loss of the only onsite car park just weeks away.

Site preparation for the hospital redevelopment will get under way in September, on land occupied by a 130-space car park at the hospital.

Work on the city's Metro Sports Facility, due to start early next year, will take out a further 700 to 800 car parking spaces on the Old Brewery site.

Increased demand for parks in the area during the Cricket World Cup in January will exacerbate the parking nightmare for hospital staff, patients and visitors.

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) says staff are working on a solution for parking and transport to the hospital site during and after the redevelopment.

Solutions could include a park and ride plan and a revised traffic flow around the hospital, CDHB executive director of nursing Mary Gordon said.

At last month's board meeting, CDHB chief executive David Meates said the hospital site would likely be a construction zone for the next six to seven years.

Just under 2000 car parks were available for patients, visitors and staff at Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch Women's Hospital, Christchurch City Council road corridor operations manager Paul Burden said.

Of those, about 750 were on-street free or metered parks on nearby streets and 1200 were off-street parks.

However, 750 to 800 off-street spaces are at the Old Brewery car park and will have to go when construction of the Metro Sports Facility gets under way.

A Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) spokesman said an agreement was in place between the Crown and the city council for the site to be used for car parking until December 31.

Cera documents from May this year show construction on the facility is due to start in mid-2015.

CDHB member Aaron Keown said he would raise the issue at today's board meeting. He wanted to see the issue addressed with urgency.

"The irony is it is beyond urgent and the works haven't started. Wait until the works start."

Access to the hospital for patients, staff and visitors was paramount, he said.

"There's almost no point having a hospital if you can't access it."

A co-ordinated approach between Cera, the council, the CDHB, New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) and Environment Canterbury was needed, Keown said.

"Until there's a committee working together, there won't be a solution."

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Burden said the council and Cera were jointly working on a draft parking plan for the central city. "The council and Cera are working closely with the hospital to share this information and to look at opportunities to support the hospital and health precinct."

The council was looking at creating more all day parking at metered locations slightly further out from the hospital.

"This will add further choice for hospital staff."

- The Press

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