Plans to move the bus stop at Craigavon Hospital will go ahead despite concerns for elderly and disabled users.
Building work at the new Paediatric Unit has begun and because of site works it was necessary to move the bus stop from the hospital’s main building.
The plan is to move the stop to the main avenue which can be accessed by a dedicated route through Car Park 1.
The plans, which were due to be introduced on Monday, have been put on hold but, it is understood they will be implemented later in the week.
There will be strictly no parking in front of the main building which will be limited for ambulance access and drop-off only.
However concerns have been expressed that the elderly and disabled may find the new location too far away.
One reader, Yvonne McAleenan, said: “That is some distance for people to walk. It’s okay for people fit to do so, but what about people that can’t walk far? Surely if the bus stop needs moved from main doors it can still be close enough to hospital entrance for patients not to have to walk so far. This needs sorted out as there has been no thought given to the elderly or patients with disabilities who need to use public transport to get to their hospital appointments or no thought given to the elderly visitor relying on public transport to visit a sick family member in hospital on a daily basis.”
A spokesperson from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “Moving the bus stop is an essential part of the new paediatric development at the Craigavon Area Hospital site. We do recognise that the new bus stop is a greater distance for people to walk and have worked with contractors to ensure the route is compliant with disability access, is well lit up and signposted. We do appreciate that this is a big change for regular bus users, so have been promoting it widely and staff will be on hand to direct people.
“We appreciate that moving the bus stop is quite an adjustment for people who use public transport to come to the hospital, so we are working closely with Translink to raise awareness and help to make it as easy as possible for our bus users.
“Whilst contractors and staff are doing their best to minimise disruption while construction work continues, we do greatly appreciate the co-operation and understanding from patients, visitors and staff while we make these improvements to our services.”
The Craigavon Unit is due to be completed in Summer 2017 and Daisy Hill Unit in Autumn 2017.
All bus routes and numbers remain the same. To find out more about routes to Craigavon Area Hospital
Log on to http://www.translink.co.uk/