Hospital car parking: Shuttle trial extended

TRIAL: A Christchurch Hospital staff shuttle service is being trialled, similar to the public park and ride service which runs from Deans Ave.

A trial aiming to solve Christchurch Hospital staff parking problems has been extended, after the number of people using it more than tripled.

Free park and ride shuttles for staff have been trialled over the past 12 weeks, running between a Deans Ave car park and the hospital.

A similar public park and ride service is run for patients and visitors to the hospital.

Staff parking problems came to a head in April, after several hospital staff reported they were assaulted while walking to their cars at night.

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This week, the Canterbury District Health Board announced it would be extending the staff trial, and testing a new timetable.

CDHB support services manager Rachel Cadle said the number of staff using the service had gradually increased.

At the beginning of the trial, the shuttles were used just 172 times over a week.

By the end of September, that had risen to 538 trips in a week.

“On this basis we have determined that we should continue to offer the service,” she said.

She said the new timetable would be trialled for a “few more weeks”.

NZ Nurses Organisation organiser Christin Watson said staff were becoming more aware of the service, so the uptake was growing. But he believed that could change over summer, as the days grew longer and Hagley Park became busier.