Fears of parking chaos at new £842m hospital

CAMPAIGNERS have branded parking provision and transport links planned for the new £842million South Glasgow Hospital campus "woefully inadequate."

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Parking provision has been branded woefully inadequate
Parking provision has been branded woefully inadequate

CAMPAIGNERS have branded parking provision and transport links planned for the new £842million South Glasgow Hospital campus "woefully inadequate."

The high rise super hospital is due to open early next year and the project is the biggest of its kind in Europe.

But people living near the hospital fear 3500 planned parking spaces - a large number of which may not be available at the time of opening - will not be enough to accommodate about 10,000 staff and also patients using the hospital every day.

They also say 50 promised new bus routes, agreed at the planning stages, have "mysteriously evaporated" from the blueprint.

The Health Service Forum South East, a campaign group, fear this will cause chaos and misery for residents because cars are already being parked on nearby streets and they believe the numbers will increase when the new hospital opens.

Patients, facilities and staff will be transferred to the new hospital from the old Southern General, the Victoria Infirmary, the Western and finally Yorkhill Children's Hospital.

Some services from other hospitals, including the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, will also move to the new Southern.

In a statement, the Health Service Forum, which is made up of residents, said: "Despite the Victoria Infirmary having better bus and train links than the South Glasgow Hospital, well over 80% of patients arrive by car or taxi.

"With its wider catchment area, the new South Glasgow Hospital can expect a higher rate of car use by patients and staff, yet car park provision is, and seems likely to remain, woefully inadequate.

"At the planning stage Glasgow City Council, as the planning authority, accepted a proposal to include 3500 parking spaces - 2400 for staff and 1100 for patients and visitors - on the basis bus services would be provided to outlying areas to the tune of nearly 50 additional buses an hour throughout the day.

"The figure of 3500 parking spaces remains, although the supporting buses have mysteriously evaporated."

The statement from the group says that when the new hospital buildings open in 2015 there will be only 2800 spaces because the top tier of a car park will still be under construction, with the remaining 700 spaces not available until 2016.

It added: "Patients and staff may be the main victims of increased pressure on scarce parking facilities, but we should not forget residents around the South Glasgow Hospital.

"They have long been complaining of overspill parkers clogging up their streets, and no amount of yellow paint is going to make their lives easier."

It was announced last month new cycle and walking routes ­costing almost £1m are to be created around the South Glasgow Hospital.

The routes include cycle improvements to the Clyde Tunnel and a new cycle route link to Bellahouston Park.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We are spending more than £30m in car parking facilities, which include a number of multi-storey car parks and improvements to existing parking facilities.

"In addition, we are spending a further £5.2m as part of a detailed travel plan that will improve accessibility to the hospital campus.

"Improved public transport routes, traffic controls in the surrounding area and upgrading works to the local road and network are all being carried out.

"The Scottish Government is also putting £40m in the new Fastlink scheme. It will see, for the first time, direct transport from three main sites in the city centre (Buchanan Bus Station, Queen Street and Central Station) to the Southern campus.

"We are working closely with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Glasgow City Council to ensure these works are targeted at communities where there is insufficient public transport."

linzi.watson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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