A soon-to-be dad of twins missed a baby scan at Craigavon Hospital because it took him over an hour to find a parking space.
Ryan Moore, from Armagh, ended up getting into an argument with another man after blocking others in.
“It was a complete and utter joke,” said Ryan, speaking to Armagh I.
“I was not one bit happy missing the scan of my twins, but it wasn’t just me crawling around looking for spaces, there were others just as frustrated as me.”
He added: “I know there are a lot of workmen on site but we were there at 8.50am with the appointment booked in for 9.20am. I was still looking for a space at 10am.
“At this stage my wife rang me to say the scan was over and done with. I was so angry, just like any other father would have been.”
Ryan already has a 20-month-old son to his wife, and missing the birth of their twins is not something he is willing to contemplate.
“My babies are due in eight weeks time and if I miss their birth over something like this, I don’t know what I’ll do.”
A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “Craigavon Area Hospital is a busy acute site, with thousands of visitors and staff attending the hospital each day including: a regular and busy bus-route, ambulance traffic and essential delivery traffic needed to support the hospital.
“There has been a lot of disruption around the Craigavon site over the past few months and this will continue until the completion of our new paediatric centre.
“There are just over 2,000 car parking places on the Craigavon site but only 300 of these are paid places located closest to the hospital entrance. An extra 210 car parking places are due to become available within the next few weeks.
“Car parking is a constant challenge for us as demand for our services continually increases and we are always looking for ways of improving traffic flow.
“Areas of possible additional parking have been identified on the site, and work is currently on-going to assess if these would be suitable to quickly provide additional parking. There are plans to upgrade car park signage to improve access and traffic flow and work will be underway shortly to clearly mark the areas of ‘acceptable’ parking, ensuring that footpaths, emergency vehicle and delivery routes are kept clear.
“The Trust is also undertaking a survey of staff and visitors views on car parking; to gather information on site usage and possible alternatives forms of transport. We are also looking at the possibility of a park and ride service, aimed at staff, if suitable off-site parking could be sourced.
“We greatly appreciate the co-operation of everyone using the site while we make these improvements. To improve traffic flow on the site, we appeal to people to use consideration when they are parking. In particular not to park on yellow lines or zones for emergency vehicles, not to obstruct drop off points close to hospital entrances, and to leave disabled spaces for blue badge holders only.”
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