The battle to find free parking near Mount Druitt Hospital just got harder.
Until now, many hospital visitors avoided fees by parking in the nearby Shopsmart Mount Druitt car park, which is a short walk away.
That’s no longer the case after a fence was installed around the rear of car park to stop people using it as a shortcut to get to the hospital.
It also affects people walking from the train station to the hospital via the car park.
Hospital staff said Shopsmart installed the fence due to security concerns.
Readers flooded the Star’s Facebook page comments when the question was raised.
‘‘It sucks that it’s closed off, because walking up the hospital driveway is dangerous,’’ Nate Nelson posted.
Some readers indicated they’d rather park a 15 minute walk than pay for parking.
Disabled people who play sport at nearby Kevin Betts Stadium are also disadvantaged.
‘‘It has actually made it difficult for access to Kevin Betts sports stadium when there are football games played at the adjacent ovals. The spectators for those games use the stadium car park and the disabled guys could park in Shopsmart for access. Now this has been taken away,’’ Kevin Wilson said.
But some understood why the fence was installed.
‘‘I work in the complex. People were parking there for reasons other than shopping , making businesses suffer. Signs were put up and people still parked there so next best thing was a fence,’’ Corinne Hudson wrote.
Katrina Griffiths added:
‘‘How many people had their cars broken into there? Or were robbed there? Yes it’s convenient but it was not very safe, especially at night.’’
The Star has contacted Shopsmart Mount Druitt for a comment.
What do you think? Comment at stmarysstar.com.au or join the conversation on the St Marys-Mt Druitt Star Facebook page.