Anger at parking fees for Kildare healthcare campus

Fears of clamping: Families say system is unfair on patients

Senan Hogan

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Senan Hogan

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news@leinsterleader.ie

Anger at parking fees for Kildare healthcare campus

Averil Flynn pictured with concerned car park users

A Kildare mother has collected over 400 signatures as part of a local campaign to reduce parking charges at Kildare Primary Healthcare Campus.

It costs €2 per hour to park in the privately-run car park — almost double the €1.20 per hour rate in public car parks.

Service users claim there are regular 60 minute waiting times for GPs which can result in automatic charges of at least €4 or higher.

Mother-of-four Averil Flynn said she recently saw two vehicles being clamped in the car park.

Averil will be bringing her son to attend a two-hour course at the facility every Monday for eight weeks and is concerned about the parking costs.

She told the Leader: “It’s crazy the cost of parking to see the doctor.

“The Healthcare Campus is out of the town so you can’t easily walk there and there is no alternative parking nearby.”

She added; “People have enough to pay besides being charged this much for waiting to see the doctor.

She added: “I have contacted local councillors as well as TDs to address this problem.

Cllr Chris Pender, who has been working on the issue for local campaigners, confirmed the car park is privately-owned and not subject to council byelaws on parking.

The Social Democrats politician said: “The health care campus is a private entity and their car park is owned and managed privately.

“Unfortunately due to the fact the company have signage up clearly indicating their policy, there is very little that can be done.”

He added: “I understand people’s frustrations on this around the lack of 15 minutes free ‘grace period’ prior to charging but the parking bye laws around this only covers public car parks.”

The petition on www.change.org says: “People of Kildare town need to get behind this and stop this.

“We are using this car parking to bring our sick parents, children and family members to see our dctors nurses and HSE services .”

The healthcare facility, which opened in 2015, includes a three-storey building occupied by the HSE, a GP practice and a pharmacy.

A clamping firm was recently hired to enforce parking regulations.

A spokesperson for the management company Kildare Primary Care, told the Leader that the parking charges will be reviewed.

A statement said: “All site operations and procedures including rates and times etc, which came up recently from our internal review meeting, are under constant review and we try, at all times, to adapt and improve in a constructive and balanced way to the needs of both the public and the onsite operators.

“This is primarily a private car park that has approx 144 spaces of which maybe 2/3 would be for staff and the balance would be for the general public use.

“It is therefore important to manage this space effectively in the interests of both customers and staff.

“Given the relatively small size of the public car park, the costs for parking are necessary to justify a managed service with professional car park standards maintained.

“Ultimately, we are attempting to ensure that everyone who uses the campus will be provided with a space and particularly those with greatest needs i.e. disabled or emergency services.

“We understand that there are issues with waiting times etc with the different services onsite which unfortunately are outside the control remit of the management company.”