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Royal Mail Take Over Car Park
Karen Howie showing the problem with the Royal Mail vans
Patients at Hunter Health Centre have been left scrambling for parking spaces in the adjacent Civic Centre car park following a “takeover” of bays by Royal Mail.
The company has purchased 22 parking permits from South Lanarkshire Council for its delivery vans. With no dedicated parking bays for health centre users and only a few disabled spaces and a drop-off point, furious patients say the needs of the sick and disabled should come first.
Karen Howie, who is being treated for a back and leg injury, was forced to park at the shopping centre because she could not find a parking space at the Civic Centre.
The 45-year-old complained because postal vans had taken up more than a dozen spaces when she arrived for her appointment, she had to make an “agonising” walk to and from the health centre. She said: "This car park is almost half the size now because Royal Mail vans are taking up most of the spaces. It’s ridiculous. There’s limited parking space as it is so it’s really unfair and very frustrating."
Royal Mail said their drivers are within their rights to use the public car park and that they have “an arrangement” in place with South Lanarkshire Council.
A new multi-storey car park opposite the health centre is under construction and is set to be completed in December.
NHS Lanarkshire’s head of management services Graham Johnston said: "To help mitigate any disruption caused by the building of the new car park we are operating a shuttle bus between Atholl House, the town centre car parks and Hunter Community Health Centre for the duration of the work. The bus is free of charge to all patients, staff and the public who visit the centre. Once the new multi-storey car park is complete NHS Lanarkshire will have 230 dedicated parking spaces for the health centre. This will be an increase of 180 spaces on the parking available at the former site."
But Karen said: “I wasn’t aware of a shuttle service being made available and I haven’t seen it advertised within the health centre. Given the very limited number of space available and the number of people trying to find a space, I maintain that priority should be give to patients. The car park available for a health centre of this size is ridiculously small. Royal Mail should not be using up a limited resource and patients should have priority. There also needs to be more done to publicise the shuttle bus. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s not aware of its existence."
Head of roads and transportation Gordon Mackay said: "The Royal Mail currently has 22 vehicles that park in this car park on a daily basis and they are paying the same rate as any other public user of this car park. They are not allocated any particular parking spaces and, similarly to any other user, a space is not guaranteed. We accept that parking in this location is in demand, especially during the ongoing NHS works. However, this is a temporary situation which will be alleviated when the new multi-storey car park is opened."