The University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has applied to keep a temporary car park open permanently, which comes as good news for local residents who have previously raised concerns on the issue.
The Limerick Voice can reveal that UHL have submitted a planning application to Limerick City and County Council for retention of a temporary 90 space public car park.
The interim car park, located at the south of the hospital, was due to close once the new 170 space underground car park opened.
Planning permission to keep the car park open permanently could only be applied for one month after the opening of the underground car park.
Cllr Daniel Butler, who resides in the area, said: “It is vital that the planning authority is supportive of any application by UHL to address this matter of which they are responsible,” he continued, “This will only be successful if the employees of the hospital are given priority for a large amount of any additional parking without compromising patient access.”
Cllr Butler said the car parking matter UHL has been an ‘ongoing saga’ that residents locally have had to endure.
“Driveways to their homes have been blocked, their estate green areas have been mounted and parked on and indeed there has been such irresponsible parking that has prevented any possible emergency vehicle access,” said Cllr Butler.
Temporary planning permission was granted for the car park to compensate for the loss of car spaces during the building of the new dialysis unit and works on the new emergency department.
The 170 space car park officially opened the first week of October and includes seven additional parking spaces for people with disabilities, but no new spaces for staff, with the exception of teams that are on-call for cardiac patients.
Local residents have previously expressed their frustration due to cars parking in and around their estate causing gridlock.
Commenting on the concern of local residents, Cllr Butler said: “The residents will tell you time and time again those parking in the estates are not hospital visitors but hospital staff. Up until this point, UHL have ignored the local community by refusing to address this issue and it is about time some measures were taken by UHL to live up to its responsibilities and to cater adequately for its growing staff numbers.”
A decision on the planning application can be expected by December 22.