Safety fears as parking row moves west

AMBULANCES and fire engines could have trouble accessing roads around Ipswich Hospital during weekdays because of the high numbers of cars left by staff, residents today claimed.

AMBULANCES and fire engines could have trouble accessing roads around Ipswich Hospital during weekdays because of the high numbers of cars left by staff, residents today claimed.

Those living in roads to the immediate west of the hospital, including Lattice Avenue, Goring Road and Newbury Road, say construction and medical workers are to blame.

The call comes after residents from the Australia estate, situated opposite the hospital entrance, revealed ongoing parking problems.

There are also fears among residents that a planned multi-storey car park, granted permission with the new Garrett Anderson Centre and solely for the use of staff, might not be built - a decision hospital bosses say has not been taken.

Marian Harvey, of Lattice Avenue, said: “The parking problem has been going on for years, ever since the hospital staff were made to pay to park.

“I know it's the staff because I used to work there until a year-and-a-half ago.

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“They leave their cars in our roads and walk through the gates into work.”

A resident of Goring Road took the photographs shown here which illustrate the influx of cars during the week.

He said: “Since they put the car parking charges up, there seems to be a big overspill.

“I don't mind patients or visitors parking along here. It's the persistent drivers, the members of staff, who are the problem.

“There are safety issues here. A fire engine or an ambulance would have real trouble getting around all of the cars. And there are two schools in the area too.”

He said he favoured the introduction of permit parking as long as residents did not have to foot the bill.

The resident added: “I worry that it will take an ambulance or fire engine not being able to get down before anything is done.

“I do sympathise with hospital staff as they provide an excellent service to our community. However, the current situation is dangerous and must be dealt with.”

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said staff were asked to be considerate to those living nearby and encouraged to park at the hospital.

She continued: “Being a good neighbour is very important to us. However, these are public roads and as such apart from appealing to staff's kindness and consideration there is nothing more we can do.”

She said it cost staff £15 a month to park at the hospital.

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

Cast Study: William Sabin

WILLIAM Sabin's wife Christine, 49, died at Ipswich Hospital on December 29.

He said his family paid out more than £80 to park at the hospital - and urged bosses to review the cost of parking for those visiting patients in wards which look after seriously ill patients.

Mr Sabin, 55, of North Acres in Willisham, said: “My wife was taken into hospital the Wednesday before Christmas in Somersham Ward.

“She was there throughout the Christmas period and my children and I spent hours there. We were coming up in the morning and going home late at night.

“I feel very bad that it effectively cost my children a lot of money to watch their mother die.

“I know you can buy a seven day ticket at a reduced cost, but I didn't know how long she was going to be in hospital for.

“Something should be done so that nobody has to go through the same thing we went through.”

Mr Sabin said he was fined £30 on November 17 for parking outside a bay.

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