Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates, Christchurch City Council chief executive Karleen Edwards, and Otakaro Limited chief executive Albert Brantley met today to urgently address the lack of car parking around Christchurch Hospital.
All three parties agreed that there will be a joined up approach and consistent messaging regarding parking options.
David Meates said it is recognised that parking around the hospital is going to remain challenging with construction happening across many sites at the same time. "This is creating additional pressures in terms of access and additional traffic volume, including contractors.
While it is great that the following construction projects are all happening:
Health Research Education Facility (HREF) – CDHB/ARA/University of Canterbury due for completion 2018
Outpatients – Ministry of Health completion 2018
Private Research Centre
Acute Services Building, followed by the next stages of the Christchurch Hospital developments – Ministry of Health
Metro Sports Centre - Otakaro
Tunnels (Hospital Corner)– Ministry of Health
Energy Centre – Ministry of Health
Maintaining access in and around this area is going to require a number of interim parking options to be in place over the next two to three years.
Mr Meates says all three agencies acknowledged the huge challenges facing patients, visitors and staff in terms of the limited parking options around Christchurch Hospital and a large number of construction and roading projects in the area that have come together to create a perfect storm.
"The meeting was very positive with all agreeing on a number of options aimed at helping relieve the car parking constraints affecting patients, visitors and staff coming into the city, especially to Christchurch Hospital," he says.
"The three agencies are committed to improving the current situation and I'm confident we've come up with some good solutions and we all agree they need to be fast-tracked and underway as soon as possible."
Mr Meates says the DHB is finalising leases for several sites near the hospital to provide around 240 additional parks for staff. The DHB is also exploring the feasibility of a number of other options. Mr Meates says the three agencies agreed the council would second a staff member with parking expertise to work with Canterbury DHB and Otakaro to bring the solutions to life as soon as possible.
"We are also looking to extend the DHB's successful Park & Ride service to include the public and a range of sites are being explored. Otakaro and the Council have agreed to help with this process including exploring alternative locations.
"All agencies really have acknowledged that it's not easy for anyone coming and going in and around the Health Precinct side of the city but in order for it to be resolved, we need to all be working together to come up with some solutions.
"But what has really concerned us all and has come to head, particularly in the last week, is the fact people's safety has been compromised because of the parking situation. We want to get this sorted as soon as possible."
In the meantime, Mr Meates says the Canterbury DHB has stepped up its security measures including reminders to staff to be extra vigilant when walking to and from their cars, to remember that a security guard is available to escort them, there's a mobile security patrol, and a new night shift shuttle starting during next week. Staff have been advised to contact security or police if they notice anyone acting suspiciously.
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