IT'S about to get even harder to snag a park at Rockhampton Hospital with the old Top Shop block set to be fenced off.
The block has been used as a car park by hospital staff, patients and visitors since the Top Shop corner store was demolished in 2011.
On Wednesday, a hospital worker contacted The Morning Bulletin after staff were told by email to "seek alternative parking arrangements".
Parking has been a constant concern for people visiting and working at the hospital for many years.
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Len Richards said the block was being fenced off after "issues with damage to vehicles and safety concerns".
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He said the land was not zoned as a car park, although many people believed that was the reason the block was purchased.
"It was purchased as part of our long-term growth strategy for health services, and was used short term for car parking," Mr Richards said. Mr Richards said he recognised many people in Rockhampton had suggested a multi-storey car park could solve the problem.
But, he said that option was too expensive.
"When compared with a new helipad and expanded Intensive Care Unit which will save many lives, an expensive car park is not a current spending priority," Mr Richards said.
"We have tried to entice private companies to build a car park, but this has not been successful because the feasibility analysis shows the volume of use would make it unprofitable.
"We do provide a free regular shuttle bus service from Bolsover Street in the city heart to the front door of the hospital and this is available to patients, visitors and staff members."
Mr Richards said parking was "one of the single biggest issues" at the hospital, and would not be solved quickly. "We will continue to explore our options," he said.
A site master plan of Rockhampton Hospital is due at the end of September and Mr Richards said this would help identify how extra parking could be created.