The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) will increase car parking spaces at the South West Acute Hospital site.

At its meeting today, Thursday, August 2, Trust Board considered car parking arrangements at the new hospital.

A review of car parking was undertaken given the demand for parking spaces at the hospital since it opened on 21 June 2012. Trust Board considered in detail the outcome of the review and have decided the following: 1.To immediately remodel the existing parking provision to provide 90 additional spaces. The 90 spaces will come into effect in September 2012; 2.To construct a further 150 new spaces on the site; 3.To implement the South West Acute Hospital Travel Plan. The Travel Plan will encourage car sharing, use of public transport and various environmentally friendly initiatives, such as 'walk to work' and 'cycle to work; 4.To defer the relocation of the remaining community based staff from community facilities to the new hospital site until the car park spaces are constructed; 5.To defer charging on the 187 spaces at the two tier car park until the construction of the additional 150 new spaces. Charging on the 49 spaces adjacent to the Emergency Department will proceed as planned in September 2012.

Sara Groogan, Director of Performance and Service Improvement at the Western Trust, said: "The Trust will continue to keep under review car parking arrangements at the South West Acute Hospital site. A number of measures have been identified to accommodate the current high levels of demand and to ensure there is sufficient car parking capacity well into the future.

"The proposals will see an initial increase in car parking spaces in September 2012. A further additional 150 spaces will be implemented later in the year subject to the necessary planning and funding agreements. This increased provision will help to alleviate the current pressures."

Ms Groogan added: "We greatly appreciate the continued cooperation and patience of our staff and the public."