New strategy for hospital car parking

A NEW strategy is being developed to change the car parking situation at Ipswich Hospital.Proposals are being laid out with a timetable of change to try and reduce the amount of cars coming on to the site as well as looking at better links with public transport.

A NEW strategy is being developed to change the car parking situation at Ipswich Hospital.

Proposals are being laid out with a timetable of change to try and reduce the amount of cars coming on to the site as well as looking at better links with public transport.

Although an additional 120 car parking spaces are gradually being added the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust is also planning to provide better walking and cycling opportunities for staff and visitors.

Car parking at the Heath Road site has long been a problem with some visitors getting into heated rows over spaces.

Residents in the area have also had difficulties with people going to the hospital parking outside their homes if they cannot find a space or do not want to pay the charges.

With the building of the new £24million critical care centre, enabling the hospital to treat thousands more patients every year the car parking situation needed to be tackled.

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As it is a landlocked site there are no more places to create many more care parking spaces so other options have to be considered.

Other things under consideration are reviewing the walking boundaries and not issuing car parking permits to staff living within a ten minute walking distance of the site boundary as well as better cycle accommodation.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the Trust said: "Everyone is very clear that we have to make sure that there is easy access to the new treatment and critical care centre.

"It is very clear that we can't build a new centre without giving people access to it."

Making use of the new park and ride sites and creating better walking and pedestrian access to the site are all under consideration.

However Ms Rowsell said that the fact that Suffolk was a very rural population was not being forgotten and that some people had no other option than to visit by car.

She said: "This travel plan is very wide ranging and taking a long term look at what we need to do.

"We are hoping that some of the very positive things happening in our town like the park and ride schemes will benefit the hospital.

"But we do not want to alarm people and we do appreciate that for many people travelling by car is the only option.

"We are looking at alternative ways for coming into the hospital for people who are able to do so."

The strategy is due to be discussed at a public meeting of the Trust board on Friday January 9 in the Main Classroom, Staff Development (next to the maternity block) starting at 10.30am.

n What do you think about parking facilities at the hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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