MORE than £2 million has been spent redeveloping two hospital car parks – to add just 15 extra spaces.
Car parks C and D at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary were re-laid as part of work to build the new Sick Kids and Department of Clinical Neurosciences.
The location of the £150m development at Little France – due to open in 2017 – forced NHS bosses to move a bus stop, which then encroached on a few spaces. Health chiefs then decided to redevelop both car parks, landing taxpayers with a total bill of £2.1m.
Tom Waterson, Unison branch chairman for Lothian, slammed the spending, branding the site “a car park on top of a car park”.
He said: “They’ve basically just ripped up the car park and put a new one down on top of it. It’s farcical.
“When Consort built the ERI, I remember being told it was designed like Lego so they would be able to add bits on to the end if ever they wanted to. Clearly that’s not the case at all.
“They’ve spent all that money and it’s cheap looking, even for a car park. They’ve had to screw little ramps in that are clearly an afterthought and they’ve either forgotten about putting a path in or it’s a case of profit before safety.”
The combined capacity has gone up from 435 to 450 spaces, with most additional slots either for parents and children or disabled drivers. But safety concerns have also been raised as patients and visitors are now walking through the car park to reach the new bus terminus.
MSP Jim Eadie, who is demanding a probe into the private finance initiative at the ERI which nets Consort £60m a year, said: “I am concerned that the safety of the public, particularly patients and people visiting, is being put at risk because people are walking through the car park.”
George Curley, director of operations in facilities for NHS Lothian, said the car park development was essential to prepare the site for construction.
He said the bus hub relocation was needed to allow roads to be widened, and services redirected, adding: “We had to redevelop the car parks in order to maintain the overall number of spaces and add extra disabled and parent and child spaces.”