Answers demanded over hospital parking

RESIDENTS are today demanding answers to Ipswich Hospital's car parking crisis amid growing disquiet in the area.Backed by neighbours of the Heath Road site and councillors, Martin Cunnell has called on the hospital to reveal its solutions to the parking overspill plaguing nearby streets.

RESIDENTS are today demanding answers to Ipswich Hospital's car parking crisis amid growing disquiet in the area.

Backed by neighbours of the Heath Road site and councillors, Martin Cunnell has called on the hospital to reveal its solutions to the parking overspill plaguing nearby streets.

The hospital has said it would unveil its strategy in the autumn, but this has not materialised and people are now starting to raise concerns.

Mr Cunnell claims the only solution is to deal with the "root" of the problem which he said lies with the hospital.

In a letter to the hospital chairman, Christine Smart, he has asked:

Are you going to build a multi-storey car park?

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How are you going to manage your traffic problem both now and in the future?

What are your long term plans for the development of the Heath Road site?

Mr Cunnell said: "We have got to be told. Eventually the hospital is going to have to sort out the situation so we can have a solution sooner rather than later."

Russell Harsant, county councillor for Bixley, said: "I applaud Mr Cunnell for carrying it to them. It is time the hospital spelt out what its plans are for car parking, not only for people living in the area but for people visiting the hospital.

"They have said they would have their plans out by the autumn and they haven't. You can talk about the lack of funds to do something, but here there is a lack of desire."

Spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, Jan Rowsell, said: "A strategy is being developed, but it's not there yet because when it was first started we were not planning to build the new Garrett Anderson Centre. It is now having to take account of the extra traffic this will generate."

"We very much appreciate the concerns and feelings of people who live close to the hospital.

"We have and will continue to make every effort to ask people not to park their cars in the nearby residential streets."

Ms Rowsell said all patients coming in to the hospital are also sent letters to let them know they need to allow plenty of time to park before their appointments.

Mr Cunnell, of Adelaide Road, has already spearheaded a 200-signature petition to try to prevent yellow lines on the estate because he believes it will just shift the problem elsewhere.

Residents in Lattice Avenue have backed this with a petition protesting against yellow lines there because they fear it would force cars into their street.

What do you think of Mr Cunnell's actions? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk