THE word “interim” came up more than once as the plan to add more than 60 parking spaces to Bathurst Base Hospital was formally announced on Friday.
Hospital general manager Sue Patterson acknowledged demand for parking around the hospital precinct is only set to increase as Bathurst’s population grows, but said the new car park to be constructed will certainly relieve the current pressure.
The NSW Government has allocated $1.2 million to build the new car park on level ground on the Durham Street side of the hospital site.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said he’d had a number of conversations with residents and families in the past six months in which they’d told him how difficult it was to get into the hospital.
“They have to park blocks away,” he said.
He said planning for the car park was beginning, construction should start early next year and it was possible the car park would be completed by the middle of next year.
Ms Patterson said hospital staff were excited about the announcement.
She said it had been recognised for some months that parking was a problem.
“We have had a number of complaints,” she said.
Nearby resident Lachlan Sullivan has been able to see the hospital’s parking problems from his front door in Howick Street.
“It’s almost impossible to park in front of our residence,” he said.
“If I invited you for a morning coffee, you would have to walk a block.”
He said people he knows will ring him and ask if they can park in his driveway temporarily while they use the hospital.
“Let’s hope they get in and build it quickly,” he said.