People have their say on parking
Campaigners want new approach over congestion
A solution to the lack of parking spaces at Hairmyres train station needs to be found urgently.
That’s the message from commuters, nearby residents, politicians and hospital patients.
People have long called for more spaces – with many resorting to parking at the hospital, leading to a recent protest by staff, or on side streets.
With Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) announcing funding for more park-and-ride spaces at both Hairmyres and East Kilbride rail stations, a report covering a number of design options was produced by South Lanarkshire Council.
The preferred option was for a decked car park at the hospital.
This was presented to NHS Lanarkshire and to the Board of Prospect Healthcare (Hairmyres) Ltd and both parties are agreeable on the principle of increased park-and-ride provision in this area.
However, talks between the two groups have stalled and politicians are now calling for work to get under way once and for all.
The SNP’s council candidate for East Kilbride West, David Watson, is among those wanting to see action.
“I hope that an agreement can be reached soon on a final solution to allow work to start on getting an improved park-and-ride facility under way,” he said.
“As it stands at the moment, considerable disruption is being caused to residential streets near the station and local commuters are not being encouraged to use the train due to the lack of parking spaces.
“It’s time for the talking to stop, decisions to be finalised and for action to be taken.”
Tory Central Scotland list MSP and outgoing East Kilbride West councillor, Graham Simpson, also feels increased parking is a priority.
“Everyone needs to get around the table urgently,” he said.
“It’s all well and good, staging the protest, but it’s not going to do anything – it’s not helping the hospital, the commuters or the people who live near the train station.
“The town is getting bigger, there is a need for better train services and therefore more parking.
“The NHS need to get round the table
It’s time for the talking to stop, decisions to be finalised and for action to be taken David Watson, SNP
with South Lanarkshire Council, get on with it and come to an agreement for everyone’s sake.”
The town’s MSP Linda Fabiani said the recent protest by staff at Hairmyres over parking shows just how frustrated people have become.
“Choosing to take matters into their own hands like this shows the level of frustration felt by the Hairmyres staff about misuse of the hospital car park,” she said.
“The car park is being used consistently by commuters, to the detriment of patients, staff and visitors. To stop this once and for all expansion of the station facility is needed.
“Meanwhile, I hope the actions of our doctors and nurses makes it clear to all that the hospital facility is exactly that – a hospital facility.” Campaigner Kirsten Robb, the Green Party’s East Kilbride East candidate, believes a new approach is needed to tackle the congestion in the car parks.
She said: “Is it any wonder that East Kilbride trains are overcrowded and Hairmyres Hospital staff are forced to form a human chain to stop commuters parking in patients’ car parks?
“Public transport investment has been neglected for years.
“Recent stats back this up, showing that the government has neglected supporting public transport in favour of car travel.”
Hospital patients and visitors are also calling for a plan to be put in place to tackle parking provision.
“It must be really hard for staff if they are struggling to get a space,” remarked Jan Carrigan. “The hospital can’t run without them.
“There never has been many spaces at Hairmyres train station but it’s not right commuters are taking up much-needed space in the hospital.
“My husband has a blue badge and we still struggle more often than not.”
Another patient, who did not want to be named, said: “It is an uphill battle sometimes to get a space – there are definitely people parking at the hospital who aren’t using it.
“But if they can’t get parked here they will just clog up the streets around it – it’s a Catch 22, really.
“The NHS and council definitely need to come up with a solution sooner rather than later.”
No room Commuters want more parking at Hairmyres train station
Car trouble Commuters’cars pack out Hairmyres Station car park