PARKING at Orange Health Service got a little bit tighter this week when a makeshift parking area was cordoned off from staff and visitors.
Since the health campus opened in March 2011 a large number of motorists have flouted rules and parked along the golf course on the northern side of the hospital in areas signposted no parking.
The area has since become popular with staff and visitors with more than 60 cars parking in the area some days despite the parking restrictions.
This week the Orange Health Service strung up brightly coloured red and orange bunting forcing staff and visitors off the grassed areas.
An Orange Health Service staff member, who asked not to be named, said parking has now become “a nightmare” since the area was cordoned off .
“The official [staff] car parks are too small,” the staff member said.
With many staff currently away for the school holidays, remaining staff fear the parking situation will only get worse once they return to work.
“There are about 100 people away on school holidays now when they come back I don’t know what they’ll do,” the staff member said.
One day this week the staff member said it took 45 minutes to find a car space due to the closure of the unofficial parking alongside the golf course.
“There were people driving up the wrong way, one car backed into another car,” the employee said.
Parking is at a premium in the early afternoon at the health campus according to the staff member who said this is the time morning shift employees are finishing and afternoon are yet to clock on.
Orange couple Philippa and Tom Thomson said the lack of parking at the hospital has been an issue for them.
“We found it really hard to get around when I was pregnant...we often had to park out the back,” Mrs Thomson said.
An Orange Health spokesperson said the bunting had been installed to enforce the no parking area.
“The Health Service is currently investigating options to erect a permanent and aesthetically pleasing barrier,” the spokesperson said.
The Orange Hospital employs approximately 650 full time equivalent staff members, divided among varying shifts, there are a total of 673 parking spaces available on the health campus.