As ambulances reportedly struggle to reach the Lagan Valley Hospital’s Emergency Department, plans are in the pipeline to prevent illegal parking in its grounds.
Earlier this week police appealed to anyone going to the hopsital to steer clear of parking on the footpath or double yellow lines.
“Ambulances are having difficulty getting to Accident and Emergency,” a spokesperson said.
Now the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust - aware of the problem, it said - has announced it is to take steps to stop illegal parking.
Its plans are to include installing barrier access around the grounds as one traffic management measure.
“We are aware of inconsiderate parking on the Lagan Valley Hospital site,” a spokesperson said.
“We plan to address this through extending our traffic management controls used on the Ulster Hospital site, which includes barrier access to control capacity.
“Tuesdays are a particularly busy day for parking on the Lagan Valley Hospital site, due to an adjacent public market.
“We would urge all members of the public not to park in a way which prevents our patients and visitors from accessing the hospital site.” Meanwhile, some residents vented their anger on Facebook about their parking problems at the Lagan Valley Hospital.
Susan Knox said, “Really fed up trying to find a parking space when I need to use the A&E or other areas of the hospital, due to inconsiderate people working in the town or using it as a park and ride.”
Sarah McConnell posted that parking at Lagan Valley was always a ‘nightmare.’
“I would have gladly paid for parking this morning if it meant not having to drive around multiple times with a six-week-old who hates the car - then being late for her appointment,” she said.
“I can easily see that parking would have caused problems, with traffic backing up as people tried to pass the car on double yellows right opposite someone else parked partially on path!
“I was very glad to have help from my parking sensors; it was tight.”
Andy Davis claimed on Facebook, “Think there are a lot of people park at the hospital car park and go into town - free car parking - time to check them out; people going to visit at the hospital can’t get parked.”
Siobhan Cadwallader claimed the Trust should start charging people and put the money back into the hospital.
“When I was heavily pregnant and having to go to the hospital weekly I rarely could get a parking space,” she posted.”
Ashleigh Davison said that people using the hospital grounds as a free car-park should go elsewhere.