Hospital car park plan not abandoned

IPSWICH Hospital today promised no decision has been made on whether to scrap proposals to build a multi-storey staff car park.Rumours have circulated that cost-cutting measures have spelt the end for the planned 465-space structure in nearby Pearson Road.

IPSWICH Hospital today promised no decision has been made on whether to scrap proposals to build a multi-storey staff car park.

Rumours have circulated that cost-cutting measures have spelt the end for the planned 465-space structure in nearby Pearson Road.

The building was granted planning permission in 2005 along with the Garrett Anderson Centre, which is currently under construction.

However, hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said that while a review of on-site car parking was underway, no move had yet been made to deviate from the original plan.

The issue is of particular concern to those living in the Australia estate, which is situated opposite the hospital and is regularly used as an unofficial car park by staff and visitors.

Double yellow lines were introduced in certain parts of the estate, but many residents believe it has only moved the problem on to roads without parking restrictions.

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Suffolk county councillor Russell Harsant said the possibility of the car park not being built would come as a blow to the hospital's neighbours.

He said: “We are hearing that the car park will most probably not be built and the implications are serious for residents. On-street parking is getting worse.

“The Garrett Anderson Centre is a wonderful building but what's going to happen with all the cars?

“And if the car park isn't built, the planning application would need looking at again.”

The building of The Garrett Anderson Centre, a multimillion pound treatment facility, has meant dozens of car parking spaces have already been lost and will increase the numbers of patients visiting the hospital.

Ms Rowsell said part of the hospital's travel strategy was to discourage the use of cars and promote greener alternatives.

She continued: “We are part of the community and the community is part of us so we take residents' issues very seriously.

“We already do whatever we can to encourage staff not to park in residential areas next to the hospital.”

She also highlighted the construction of a new road linking Heath Road to the Garrett Anderson Centre which would allow buses on to the site for the first time.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council confirmed that if the structure was not built, Ipswich Hospital would have to submit plans for the provision of spaces elsewhere.

Is parking still a problem at the hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Case Study: Darren and Karen Self

DARREN and Karen Self live in the Australia estate opposite Ipswich Hospital and are regularly plagued by thoughtless motorists parking in front of their driveways.

Mr Self, 33, of Tasmania Road, said: “We have been here since March and it's been an ongoing problem.

“It's an every day thing which is especially bad between 7.45am and 3.30pm.

“Sometimes I come home from work and I can't even get around the corner. I have spoken to neighbours and they say the problems have worsened since they started building the new block.

“Ours is not the only road suffering, either.”

The HGV driver said he would like Ipswich Borough Council to lay double yellow lines throughout the whole of the estate.

He said: “I think it's the only way to go.

“I have called the council twice in the past and even called the police when my drive was obstructed.

“Nobody came to my house, though. I was just told to write to Highways, which I will do soon.”

Councillor Russell Harsant said he knew several residents in the Australia estate who opted not to park in their driveways in case they were blocked in.

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