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Highlands MSP 'horrified' by congestion at Highlands' main hospital

By Gavin Musgrove

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Highlands MSP Edward Mountain on his visit to Raigmore Hospital yesterday.
Highlands MSP Edward Mountain on his visit to Raigmore Hospital yesterday.

Highlands MSP Edward Mountain has said he is horrified by the congestion at Raigmore Hospital car park following his visit to the facility.

He is now calling for NHS Highland to fully instal the barrier entry system which will free up more car parking spaces for patients, staff and visitors.

Mr Mountain MSP launched the Raigmore Parking Campaign in the summer of 2018 and collected 1000 signatures as part of a petition calling for improvements to be made.

While a car park extension was completed in 2019, NHS Highland was unable to fully implement the barrier entry system.

The Scottish Coservative MSP said while barriers have been installed, they are still not fully operational.

He commented after yesterday's visit: “It took me 15 minutes to secure parking at Raigmore and I wasn’t the only one having difficulties. I was horrified to see people driving round in circles struggling to find a space.

“This really isn’t good enough. NHS Highland has informed me that the barrier system won’t be operational until July 2022 – it should have been ready three years ago. Why is it taking so long?

“The barrier system will ensure there is controlled parking at the hospital – it is crucial that this is fully introduced sooner rather than later to ensure more spaces are freed up.

“I’ve been campaigning for the car park to be enhanced for years and it continues to be a source of frustration for patients, staff and visitors.

“NHS Highland have made a lot of promises about improving this car park and it’s now time to see urgent action."

A NHS Highland spokesperson said: "Our monitoring of the car park has seen no evidence of it being used as a park and ride by the general public.

The installation of the barrier system will assist in segregating staff and patient parking but will not increase the number of car parking spaces.

"It will protect the spaces closet to the main entrance for patient use and hopefully improved turnover of these spaces.

"We hope to have it fully operational by June 1."

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