LVH parking plan - public meeting looms

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In just under a week from now the South Eastern Health Trust will throw open the Lagan Valley Hospital’s recreation hall to a public debate on planned parking charges.

One of a number of public events scheduled as part of wider consultation on proposed parking charges at the Lagan Valley, Downe and Ards hospital sites, the meeting is to begin at 7pm in the LVH recreation hall on Thursday (January 15).

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson was among those to call on those with views to air to take the opportunity afforded by the meeting.

“Whilst I accept there are many people who already, with the health centre at Linenhall Street, pay to park in nearby public car parks,” he said, “some may nevertheless have concerns, especially when the health centre is relocated.

“I would therefore encourage local people, if they have any views on the matter, to respond to the consultation being undertaken by the (Southern Health and Social Care) Trust, and make those views known.”

It was in recent weeks the Trust revealed plans to charge for parking at the Lagan Valley Hospital, it having first conducted an appraisal of a number of options.

“The preferred option,” a spokesperson said, “is to extend car-parking charges for staff and service-users to Ards Hospital, Lagan Valley Hospital and the Downe/Downshire Hospital sites in order to provide traffic management services to all of these locations. “The Trust would intend to the use the rates at the Ulster as a starting point, but would also consider local variation. Any surplus would be used for patient care.”

The Trust has pledged that comments made during consultation - now underway and running until February 18 - will be considered carefully and feedback will be provided. A copy of the proposal and information on the consultation process is available at www.setrust.hscni. net. For information or to register attendance at a public meeting, contact Tania Gibson Kelly House at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald. BT16 1RH - tel: 028 9055 0434, textphone 028 9151 0137 or email: