AN EXPANSION of the car parking facilities at University Hospital Limerick will not adequately accommodate the needs of staff and visitors.
That’s the view of Limerick’s representative on the Regional Health Forum West, Cllr Malachy McCreesh who has been told by the UL Hospital Group that the current 230 public parking spaces at UHL will increase by 170 spaces with the opening of a new underground car park next month.
The Sinn Fein City West councillor says that he is not satisfied about the proposed changes to the car parking facilities.
“The expansion to 400 spaces will also see the current 21 public disabled parking spaces increase to 28 spaces. However, a temporary car park with 90 spaces will close a month after the new underground car park is opened as planning permission will expire,” he explained.
“Although UHL anticipate it will re-open next November, this is dependent on permanent planning permission being granted.”
Cllr McCreesh believes there will not be enough parking spaces available to prevent cars being parked throughout the surrounding area. This is already causing major problems for people in local housing estates from both a safety and traffic control aspect.
He went on to say that the additional car parking spaces would not solve the problem, as there will be no increase in the staff car parking spaces available in the new underground car park, except for teams on-call for STEMI (cardiac) patients in the Critical Care Block.
“UL Hospital Group need to make further car parking available in the short term to allow staff to get to work without the stress of searching for a parking space. Plans to move the Maternity Hospital to the Dooradoyle campus will create a continued parking nightmare if the current issues are not resolved,” he said.
In a statement issued to the Limerick Post, a spokesman for UL Hospitals said that there are 765 staff car parking spaces at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and no additional staff parking is planned in the immediate future.
“There are car parking facilities and off-street parking available adjacent to the hospital, which is also well serviced by public transport to and from Limerick City every 20 minutes.
“Currently there are 230 public parking spaces at UHL. This will increase by 170 with the opening of the new underground car park. There are currently 21 public disabled parking spaces available and this will increase to 28 when the new car park opens.
“To compensate for the loss of spaces, temporary planning permission for an interim car park for 90 parking spaces was granted by the local authority.”
by Alan Jacques