MORE than 60 new car parking spaces will be available at Bathurst Base Hospital by the end of next year, according to the NSW Government.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole has announced $1.2 million will be spent to turn vacant land on the corner of Durham and Mitre streets next to the hospital into a public car park.
The move was foreshadowed when Mr Toole visited the hospital in June, when he said the government was looking for a solution to the problem of a lack of parking.
In announcing that funding has been secured for the project and construction will go ahead, Mr Toole said the need for new spaces had been raised by a wide range of people.
“I am advised the Western NSW Local Health District will start planning and design [for the car park] over coming months, with construction expected to start early in 2018,” he said.
“We anticipate the project will be completed by the end of the year.”
Mr Toole said the new car park will provide an estimated 62 spaces.
“This is great news for the many residents who have to attend the Bathurst Hospital but experience trouble finding a suitable place to leave their vehicle in close proximity,” he said.
“I can understand the frustration that many people may have experienced because they have had to park blocks away from the hospital.
“It’s difficult for sick patients, people with young children, the elderly and people with a disability.
“By the time they get to the front door of the hospital they are often exhausted and hopefully this initiative will help address the car parking issues at this location.”
Hospital general manager Sue Patterson has previously spoken about the need to have spaces in close proximity.
“For people on crutches or who have to present to the emergency department, it’s really important to park close when you’re not well,” she said earlier this year.
“The growth of services has led to more staff and more demand on services and parking.”