PARKING will become a bit easier at Bundaberg Hospital with the new 130-space car park completed and set to be open next week.
The long-awaited car park was the result of a NewsMail-run petition that drew the signatures of almost 2800 residents who wanted better parking at the public health facility.
The petition followed calls from a slew of readers complaining of no available parking, many sick or elderly.
At the time, some patients said they needed to circle the hospital for at least 15 minutes before they found a park.
Others said they could only find a park hundreds of metres away from the hospital.
Bundaberg Hospital operational executive Luke Worth said the extra 130 spaces would make it easier for patients and visitors to find a car space.
"We will be encouraging staff to use the new car park, which will free up valuable parking spaces along Bourbong St," he said.
"This means many staff will no longer be parking on the street, making it easier for patients and their families to park closer to the hospital."
Mr Worth said the $203,000 car park would give easier access to the increased health services, which resulted from the hospital's $50 million redevelopment.
"Regular wet weather did cause a slight delay to our anticipated completion date, as it was often too wet for the private contractor to apply the finishing touches," he said.
"The recent break in the weather allowed the ground to dry enough for the private contractor to finish the work."
NewsMail editor Christina Ongley said last year's two-month campaign was inspired after the NewsMail ran a number of stories about parking difficulties at the hospital.
"This was an issue of importance to a lot of people, which was why we took it up," Ms Ongley said.
"But we could never have had such a good result without the support of every one of those people who put their name on the petition."
She said the number of signatures was a mark of just how frustrating the parking situation had become at the hospital.