Peo­ple have their say on park­ing

Cam­paign­ers want new ap­proach over con­ges­tion

East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE - Ni­cola Findlay

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

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