Readers have their say on hospital car parking fees.
Readers have their say on hospital car parking fees. Marc Stapelberg

Readers speak out on parking at hospital

READERS of the Northern Star have voiced their thoughts about the proposed $3 per hour street parking strategy around the Lismore Base Hospital.

Currently drivers pay $2 per two hours if they park in front of the hospital on Uralba St, while other street parking is free.

Readers react

Jo Phillips attends weekly appointments at the Women's Care Unit due to her high risk pregnancy.

She said $2 per two hours was already too much.

"I'm not attending the hospital for social hour. For my situation and many others those short visits are mandatory," Ms Phillips said.

Another reader, Christine Hyde, suggested parking vouchers for specific cases.

"Especially for people that have family that are going to pass away or long term patients," she said.

Reasons for charges

Lismore City Council development and compliance manager Peter Jeuken said the changes would match the rates of the new multi-storey carpark.

"If paid street parking around the hospital is not expanded, people will resist paying the fees to park in the multilevel carpark," he said.

"If stage one of the new multilevel carpark does not fund itself, the Northern NSW Local Health District will potentially have to cover the cost of construction from its existing funding."

Parking difficulties

Julie Starkey said there needs to be better drop off zones.

"I have a son with a fractured leg ... he has a full length cast and has trouble hobbling great distances with crutches," she said.

"For our visits to the fracture clinic I usually have to pull up in a No Stopping zone, quickly unload him and tell him to wait there until I get back, which can be up to 15 minutes depending on where I actually find a park."

Future plans

Mr Jeuken said this issue would be resolved after construction is completed next year.

"Redevelopment will see a vastly improved pick up and drop off area ... which will increase short term capacity for people in emergency situations," he said.

"This drop off area (will not be) paid parking and once the emergency situation has been addressed there will be a number of options for parking availability depending upon how long it is intended to stay at the hospital."

Mr Jeuken said parking on Uralba and Hunter Sts would be restricted to two hours while the hospital-run multi-storey carpark is likely to offer a range of parking options from two hour stays, all day stays and long term stays.