“The use of car park barriers at the RAH could have a serious impact on the road network surrounding the hospital as well as for other vehicles trying to access the hospital including buses, patient transport and even emergency vehicles,” said Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest) commenting on the plan by Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board to install and operate barriers at the main public car park at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
When these plans were first raised, Councillor Kenny MacLaren submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Health Board asking a number of questions regarding the decision to install these barriers. This request was submitted on the 29th March. However, despite repeated phone calls, emails and even a letter asking for a review of the FOI the health board missed the 20 working days deadline to respond. The eventual response was received on the 18th July and it still failed to answer some of the questions raised such as the costs of the barriers and the role of the private company who manage the car park.
The response did however admit that the Board failed to effectively inform staff of the proposed barriers and also highlighted that the barriers would be in use during busy periods at the car park including 9 am. There is a concern that the use of these barriers will lead to a build-up of traffic on the access road to the hospital and potentially causing traffic problems on Corsebar Road. There is also a concern that this would also create problems for other vehicles accessing the hospital including buses, patient transport and even emergency vehicles.
Councillor Kenny MacLaren added:
“I am disappointed that the Health Board was not able to respond within the standard time for an FOI request and that repeated communication was needed until I received a response. Even then the response did not answer all my questions. For this reason, I am referring this case to the Scottish Information Commissioner and asking them to review the failure of the Health Board to answer my original FOI request.
“I suspect the use of the car park barriers at certain times will have an impact on the local road network with traffic potentially queued back onto Corsebar Road. I would also have serious concerns about access to the hospital for other road users including emergency vehicles if the barriers create a build-up of traffic on the access road to the RAH.
“The failure to consult fully with staff, patients and the public could result in a lot of problems when the barriers come into use on the 26th September.
“I am not convinced that this is the best option to manage the car parks within the RAH and the failure to respond fully to my FOI request (and on time) means that I have little confidence in the decision of the health board to introduce these barriers.”