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M-storey discussion to relieve hospital

PUBLISHED: 18:44 26 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

MORE short stay parking spaces are to be up and running at Ipswich Hospital by next month - and options are even being considered for a multi-storey car park in the future.

MORE short stay parking spaces are to be up and running at Ipswich Hospital by next month - and options are even being considered for a multi-storey car park in the future.

A multi-storey car park could cost in the region of £5million and hospital chiefs are considering private providers who the trust would then be able to pay back.

It will be welcome news for the angry visitors and patients along with MP Chris Mole who slammed the hospital earlier this year after car parking charges went up to a minimum of £2.

At peak times, spaces at the Heath Road site are in short supply which led to anger and frustration between visitors who sometimes even got into rows in the car park with other motorists.

Residents in the housing estate opposite the hospital were also angry because visitors would often park outside their houses if there were no spaces available or to avoid paying the charges.

But Paul Forden, chief executive of the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust today said that measures were now being put in place to try and improve the situation.

With the hospital increasing in size in the next few years more car parking will be needed to cope with the thousands of extra patients due to come through their doors.

However with the Heath Road site so landlocked it is difficult to find any more space to put more cars, hence the idea of a multi-storey.

Mr Forden said: "The short stay car parking should be up and running by July.

"And I want to do all this without increasing the car parking charges.

"The reason the charges were increased before was for improvements to security in the hospital."

Barriers have been ordered for the short stay parking but have been taking longer than anticipated so a short stay car park is going to be set up anyway before they are delivered.

It is thought that the charges are likely to be 50p for half an hour and a £1 for an hour.

Chris Mole MP said: "I have met with Mr Forden and his colleagues at the hospital on several occasions over the last 12 months to discuss the problem and I welcome anything that, in the short term, provides some relief for some of the neighbouring streets in the area."

* What do you think? Is it about time for more spaces or should the hospital be devoting their time to other things? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich or have your say on the Evening Star forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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