Parking space

Raigmore Hospital’s parking barrier system is expected to be operational by June amid calls from MSP Edward Mountain to speed up the process saying “it is crucial this is fully introduced as soon as possible to secure the release of more spaces”

MSP Edward Mountain at Raigmore Hospital car park.

NHS Highland has denied Raigmore Hospital car park being used as a park and ride after MSP Edward Mountain criticized the health board for failing to make the barriers operational.

More than £600,000 has been spent to expand the car park and install a barrier system designed to allow patients, visitors and staff to park easily amid fears the site is being abused.

Mr Mountain said he was ‘horrified’ after a visit this week when he spent 15 minutes trying to find a space and saw other people circling the car park several times and called the council of health to act.

A spokeswoman for NHS Highland said: ‘Our monitoring of the car park has found no evidence that it is being used as a park and ride by the general public.

“Installing the barrier system will help separate parking for staff and patients, but will not increase the number of parking spaces. It will protect the spaces closest to the main entrance for patient use and hopefully improve the rotation of these spaces.

“We expect it to be fully operational by June 1.”

Earlier, Mr Mountain said: ‘It took me 15 minutes to secure the parking lot at Raigmore and I wasn’t the only one struggling. I was horrified to see people going around in circles struggling to find a place.

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

“The barrier system will ensure controlled parking in the hospital – it is crucial that this is fully introduced as soon as possible to ensure that more spaces are freed up.

“I have been advocating for parking improvements for years and it continues to be a source of frustration for patients, staff and visitors. NHS Highland has made a lot of promises about improving this car park and now is the time to see some urgent action.

Related Story – Highland MSP Edward Mountain is ‘horrified’ by congestion in Raigmore Hospital car park after his visit earlier today and is now calling on NHS Highland to finally get the barrier system working

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John Smith

The author John Smith