Motorists parking in a makeshift car park near Maitland Hospital, have been warned that their actions are both illegal and unsafe and they face the possibility of being fined.
A council-owned reserve flanked by the hospital precinct and the New England Highway, has been torn up by scores of motorists using the land daily as a car park, dangerously accessing it off the hospital roundabout’s High Street exit.
The matter has been raised with Maitland councillor Henry Meskauskas who said parking is at a premium at Maitland Hospital.
“This is not a designated parking area and it seems that some people have just started to drive in there and turn it into a car park,” Cr Meskauskas said.
“What they are doing is dangerous, particularly with the busy highway so close and the way they have to access it up over a gutter.”
Maitland City Council’s Development and Environment Manager, David Simm said parking on the land between the Maitland Hospital car park and the highway is both unsafe and illegal.
“Rangers patrol the area as part of their duties and fines can be issued,” he said.
Rangers patrol the area as part of their duties and fines can be issuedDavid Simm, Maitland City Council's Development and Environment Manager
Fairfax Media reported in 2013 how the official opening of a new 44-space car park at the hospital would hopefully address the chronic shortage of parking at the facility. At the time residents in nearby streets had complained that the spill-over from the existing, inadequate hospital car park, together with people who opted to search for a free park while visiting the facility, made their lives hell, with inconsiderate drivers parking across private driveways and in no parking zones.
It was also reported then how the existing paid car park was often full and also used by hospital staff who had no where else to go. Hospital visitors and staff have struggled with parking for years, many staff now opting to park along the flats on Mt Pleasant Street.
Cr Meskauskas said if the makeshift car park is being occupied by hospital staff or visitors, Hunter New England Health should explore purchasing the site from council.
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