Shoalhaven Hospital parking has residents raising questions

Nowra resident Bill Hancock questions why parking in some areas such as the grassed verges near the hospital is allowed, while parking in other areas is more strictly policed.

Nowra resident Bill Hancock questions why parking in some areas such as the grassed verges near the hospital is allowed, while parking in other areas is more strictly policed.

Nowra resident Bill Hancock has accused Shoalhaven City Council of going soft on parking offenders around Shoalhaven Hospital.

Mr Hancock, who lives near the hospital on Shoalhaven Street, knows the growing parking problem well.

For most of the week he and his neighbours have cars owned by hospital staff and patients parked legally in front of their houses.

He has, however, raised concerns with people parking on the road reserves around the hospital, the park and the showground.

“I see those rangers come up as far as the school [St Michael’s School] and harass those parents but they don’t go near the hospital,” he said.

“I’ve asked one ranger why. He told me they can’t book people on the land around the hospital because there aren’t any No Parking signs.”

Mr Hancock said the residents in the streets around the hospital were not happy about the overflow parking that often crowded the streets. 

He said there were times when ambulances, trucks and buses did not have the space to pass in the streets.

“My specific concern is the lack of parking around the hospital and the absence of effective enforcement of regulations,” he said.

“It looks to me like someone in council is instructing their parking rangers not to book people around the hospital.

“If this is happening, that is a lot of money in fines that is not going back into the council’s coffers, money that ratepayers recently had to top up,” he said.

Mr Hancock questioned why state government developments were permitted without the necessary infrastructure.

“The state government department can get away without providing adequate parking while a private developer would be made to include enough parking.

“It’s one law for them and one law for us,” he said.

Council’s ranger services manager Michael Jarman said parking rangers patrolled the hospital area almost every day.

“If anyone overstays their time limit in the parking areas they can be booked,” he said.

A number of verges around the hospital do not have parking signs and Mr Jarman’s department received legal advice that it was a grey area.

“We are quite often asked about the dirt or grassed verge areas,” he said.

“Where those areas are not sign-posted, enforcement was problematic.

“As soon as those signs go up we can be a bit stricter.

“We know it is crowded up there and we have to draw the line between being lenient toward people seeing relatives at the hospital and people parking on the grass all day.”

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