Locked out on Locke St

DROPPING into the Warwick Hospital to visit her sick husband was a tiring exercise for Colleen Mitchell, who said she regularly couldn't find a park in Locke St.

Mrs Mitchell said most of the time she had to park in William St which was a "fair hike" and she felt the council's engineering services director Peter See was insensitive after he made comments about the parking situation to the Daily News earlier in the week.

"He really just doesn't understand there is a desperate need for more car parks there," she said.

Mr See told the Daily News there was plenty of parking in William St but people just didn't like to walk.

"Last time, which was last month, we were talking about how they really need to take a part of the park for car parking," Mrs Mitchell said.

"I am 72 this coming April and I have some spinal difficulties and I find walking up the incline is hard and it is tiring."

Jean Edwards said she was also disappointed with the comments after finding it hard to park near the hospital.

"Peter See said people don't want to walk. If you park in William St it's a long haul," she said.

"I walked up (William St) with a man the other day and I didn't know him from a bar of soap. He was knocked about and we got to the corner and I said 'you'd better have a rest'."

But a council spokeswoman said Mr See's comments were misinterpreted and he meant he understood some people found it difficult to walk from William St and that's why the council was pursuing the issue.

Darling Downs Health Service District acting CEO Dr Peter Bristow said the council had contacted Queensland Health in the past week.

"Officers of the council have written to Warwick Hospital outlining council is now in caretaker mode," he said.

"In this period, I have asked the Warwick director of nursing and facility manager Megan O'Shannessy to meet with Southern Downs Regional Council officers to discuss the issue further."

There was a suggestion the land near the former Oaks Nursing Home could be used for a staff car park, freeing up some Locke St parking for patients. Dr Bristow confirmed that land would be used but would not say what for.

"The land near the former Oaks Nursing Home will be used for future construction on the Warwick Hospital campus," he said.

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