Parking enforcement measures are to be introduced at Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn from March 1.
The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said it is implementing the new measures in order to “ease parking difficulties and access problems, which are causing additional stress for patients.”
“Good car parking provision for patients, visitors and staff is an important part of the experience of using the health service,” a Trust spokesperson said.
The Trust has used parking enforcement measures at other sites to deal with inappropriate parking and to protect access for emergency vehicles.
The new measures will apply in a number of areas at Lagan Valley clearly identified by signage, and will ensure that:
• Disabled Blue Badge Bays are protected for Blue Badge Holders
• Emergency access routes are accessible by emergency vehicles
• Ambulance bays are restricted to ambulances only
• Drop off, pick up areas are used only for that purpose
• Verges and pedestrian footways are kept clear
• Restricted areas are not parked on
• Staff permit holding areas are used only by staff displaying permits
The enforcement measures will also ease parking difficulties associated with the building of the new Primary Community Care Centre, where increased temporary parking for members of the public and patients will be provided to the front of the hospital.
“The Parking Enforcement Agency (PEA) has been awarded the contract for enforcement, and will apply Parking Charge Notices to offending vehicles in the areas identified by signage,” the spokesperson continued.
“The signage will shortly be erected and warning notices will be applied to offending vehicles for a period of one week to increase awareness before implementation. Thereafter Parking Charge Notices of £40 will be applied to offending vehicles, extending to £60 if not paid within two weeks. The company reserves the right to escalate the collection of fines to Debt Collection if necessary.”
The Trust is urging hospital users to be aware of the signage indicating the designated areas in which enforcement will take place and has stressed that any appeals will have to be made directly to the PEA.
In June 2015 the SEHSCT Board approved the introduction of car parking charges across all its hospital sites. However, this week a spokesperson for the Trust said there is still “no firm date for the introduction of charges” at Lagan Valley.