Hospital nurses fearful of night parking

CONTINUING concerns about Warrnambool Base Hospital nurses’ safety when walking to cars at night has prompted mayor Michael Neoh to suggest more of the hospital’s own on-site parking spaces be made available.

He suggested South West Healthcare may be able to consider providing night-shift workers with free use of the underground car park off Timor Street.

The idea was floated in response to another plea from Cr Peter Hulin for better consideration of nurses who have to sometimes walk several blocks to their cars parked on the street.

“I’ve got great concerns for their welfare,” he told colleagues on Monday night.

“We need a public meeting to outline new parking strategies around the hospital.

“Are we saying to people you cannot park on nature strips and what are the ramifications of this for the rest of the city.” 

However, no decision has been made by the council on the vexed issue of how to handle the volume of vehicles for hospital workers and visitors that are parked on streets in the precinct.

Local residents have complained about cars clogging nature strips and restricting access to properties.

Several options are being considered by officers, one of which is believed to be to encourage drivers to park on the road edge and not nature strips, which is technically illegal across the state.

The Standard has been told consultation with residents, businesses and motorists in the area is under way and feedback will be included in a future report to the council for a decision.

Last week The Standard was told local laws officers were enforcing illegal parking in the hospital area, including parking too close to intersections, blocking driveways and stopping in a no stopping zone.

However, there has been no decision to increase enforcement of nature strip parking in the hospital precinct.

It is understood the council has long been frustrated with state government provisions that allowed the recently-completed hospital multi-million-dollar redevelopment to get planning approval without stringent requirements for adequate parking.

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