West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Proposal to implement hospital car parking charges criticised.

Published: 18 June, 2012

Sinn Féin councillor Anne Marie Fitzgerald has criticises the proposal to implement hospital car parking charges on the new hospital in Enniskillen. The proposal went to public consultation before the Western Trust announced last week that it was pressing ahead with the proposals. Speaking on the issue councillor Anne Marie Fitzgerald said: "The decision to implement a proposal to have car parking charges at the new Enniskillen hospital is a retrograde step. I have been informed that 236 car parking spaces will be chargeable on the site, including 49 spaces adjacent to A & E. The additional chargeable car parking places will be in a tiered car parking space also on the site. The charges will become effective from 1st September 2012. "This is a scandalous decision taken by the Western Trust and will affect both patients and visitors to the new hospital in Enniskillen. The proposed rate for the parking will be 70p per hour. This rate alone is far beyond what one would expect reasonable. Given that the site is in the periphery of the town, there is no suitable alternative parking, and so those who will be using the hospital will have no other option than to pay for parking on site. "Given that the proposals are due to be implemented largely was as envisaged previous to the public consultation I am wondering of the merits of the public consultation exercise. Was it merely for optics? "I have requested a breakdown of the figures received through the public consultation to get a fuller picture of what the broad view of those consulted were. I would be very surprised if the consensus were favour of introducing such parking charges. In our response to the consultation the Sinn Féin council team on Omagh District Council outlined our opposition to the proposals as well as highlighting those who would be most affected by the charges, the sick and vulnerable, and this remains our view as we learn of the decision to implement such proposals.