NHS pledge more Infirmary parking

NHS TAYSIDE has assured Angus Council that it does intend to improve car parking at Arbroath Infirmary.

The head of roads at the local authority had asked the health board to clarify their position after there was some confusion over whether they did actually plan to create more spaces in a bid to solve the parking chaos around the hospital.

However, despite assurances by NHS Tayside that parking will be improved, the stumbling block seems to be securing funding to carry out the work.

A report on the situation will also be brought before the council’s infrastructure services committee in April. Councillor David Fairweather, who called for the situation to be resolved in last week’s Arbroath Herald has welcomed the assurances by the NHS and says the situation needs to be resolved soon.

He explained: “I was pleased that in reply to the head of roads letter, NHS Tayside confirmed last week that, contrary to recent reports, it does still intend to improve the car parking at Arbroath Infirmary.

“However although I welcome their commitment to the project there appears to be no immediate prospect of the work being done - the sticking point still seems to be the availability of funding to pay for the work.

“Given that everyone wants the work to be done we need to find a way of resolving this, preferably sooner rather than later.

“A report will be coming to the infrastructure services committee in April and we will have to consider how we can work with NHS Tayside to make this happen.”

The prospect of using Common Good land adjacent to the hospital to create more parking had been suggested by Arbroath councillors Alex King and Bob Spink.

These proposals were rejected by other councillors, but last week Councillor Fairweather admitted this still could be a possibility if other spaces cannot be found.

But now Councillor Spink is hoping that all members can now work together to find a solution to the problem.

He explained: “This issue was the subject of bitter dispute between Councillors Fairweather and Peter Nield, and Councillor Alex King and myself a year ago when we proposed the use of a piece of Common Good land opposite the infirmary to provide a car park as a solution to the traffic chaos that prevailed in the area, and still does.

“They vehemently objected and accused us in the press of ‘political mischief’ in what we have come to know as the ‘porky pie’ saga.

“I note that after all the huffing and puffing of a year ago, Councillor Fairweather has changed his stance and now supports the use of Common Good land to this end; an apology for the ‘porky pie’ allegations of a year ago would be fine and we can get on and address the problem together.”