The owner of a Thai restaurant has started a park and ride service for Christchurch Hospital, following the closure of a popular car park on Deans Ave. Nattachai Changrattanachaichok, founder of the Thai Chef’s franchise, is making use of the multi-storey car park building next to his restaurant to run a shuttle service to the hospital, about 1 kilometre down the road.

“This will be undercover and safe for the community and people of Christchurch,” Changrattanachaichok said, referencing the dire state of the Deans Ave which was muddy and riddled with potholes. He said that his main motivation was to get people to the hospital, but also hoped that it would drive customers to his restaurant.

Users will be charged $5 between 7am and 2pm, and $5 between 2pm and 11pm. Outside of hours the parking will be free, but the shuttle service won’t run.

Although there is no formal partnership between Changrattanachaichok and the CDHB, it “welcomes the availability of more parking options for patients and visitors within close vicinity to Christchurch Hospital.”

Changrattanachaichok has said that if the service proves successful he will look at expanding the carpark into the abandoned lot across the road.