North Adelaide hospital parking change leaves workers feeling unsafe

More than 550 North Adelaide hospital workers, visitors and patients are banding together to fight carparking changes which they say are putting public safety at risk.

The Car Parking Crisis North Adelaide Hospitals Facebook group wants Adelaide City Council to “urgently” overturn new timed-parking restrictions.

Under the new changes, which are being trialled until June 2020, the council has removed 10-hour parking spaces around at least three hospitals and instead is enforcing two, three or four-hour time limits.

Medical staff – who work at hospitals, including Calvary, The Memorial and Mary Potter Hospice – now have to park far away, then walk through streets in the dark for work.

Car parking Crisis North Adelaide Hospitals page creator and registered nurse Libby Green parks her car near The Hackney Hotel, 2km away from The Memorial Hospital where she works.

She started the group to raise awareness of the issue and hoped people power would see restrictions overturned.

“The council thinks they have made a solution (by creating more parks), but to me they have created a problem … this needs an immediate solution,” Ms Green, of Adelaide Hills, said.

“The council (is) forgetting they are essentially working for the community, and its community in North Adelaide includes staff and patients.”

She said the new short-term parks, originally used by nurses, are often empty.

Clinical nurse Rike Grebneff said medical staff have the right to feel safe going to and from their workplace.

“I not really easily intimidated, but even I feel really uncomfortable walking at 10.30pm along the parklands – it is really dark,” Ms Grebneff, of Hallett Cove, said.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation SA branch chief executive Elizabeth Dabars backed the group.

“We are very concerned about the changes and this goes to the heart of our advocacy … to end violence and aggression in healthcare,” Ms Debars said.

“Quite frankly one of the risks that currently exists – that is only being exacerbated by the actions of the council – is safety and security of people having to move their car late at night.”

The council made the changes to provide a greater balance of on-street parking availability for the local community.

Other changes included changing about a half of unrestricted parking bays in the area to become timed.

Overall, the changes affect around 850 car spaces.

A Calvary Hospital spokeswoman said staff often had meetings about parking.

“Calvary staff are aware that we are in ongoing discussions with council about the changes to parking in North Adelaide and the affect this has had on our team,” a spokeswoman said.

In June, Adelaide City Council met with North Adelaide hospitals so they can “better understand parking changes.

The council will look at all feedback from the trial so far – including complaints – at a workshop on Tuesday, September 17.

“We will be discussing the feedback from these changes and the extent to which they have met their objective or had unintended consequences,” Adelaide City Council customer and people associate director Vanessa Godden.

In June, a nurse was stabbed in the neck outside the Lyell McEwin Hospital while on her break from work.

She suffered injuries to her neck.

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