PARKING PROGRESS: Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser announces the start of work on the new ground-level car park at Coffs Harbour Hospital.
PARKING PROGRESS: Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser announces the start of work on the new ground-level car park at Coffs Harbour Hospital.

New car park eases pain of too few spaces at hospital

IT'S a relief many hospital visitors will welcome, with construction now under way of a new car park to ease the pain of parking at Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

Standing at the worksite that will deliver 450 additional car spaces, Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said the $8 million parking project would deliver convenience to the community.

It has been almost four years since Mr Fraser raised the hospital parking issue in State Parliament after the car space shortage was identified as a major issue in every patient survey that has been undertaken since the hospital's completion in 2001.

"For some, visiting hospital can be a joyous experience, but for many it is a challenging time, which is made worse when parking becomes a problem," Mr Fraser said.

"Providing sufficient parking spaces at our hospital is about more than just convenience - it is about ensuring people have adequate access to quality health care."

The project, which should be finished by July, will require minor adjustments to the existing car park entrances.

The main hospital entrance and the Emergency Department entrance will remain unchanged, while a new southern vehicle entry from Phil Hawthorn Dr will be included as part of the project.

The new car park will come at a price, with parking rates to be introduced in line with the NSW Health Hospital Car Parking Policy 2013.

Mr Fraser said the car park funding was provided by State Treasury outside of the state's health budget, meaning paid parking had to be introduced as a means of paying for the project.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said Health Infrastructure had awarded the construction tender to AW Edwards.