Residents welcome parking restrictions on roads close to Southmead Hospital

July 04 2016

Changes to restrict parking in areas surrounding Southmead Hospital will go live from July 1st after a consultation with people living in the area surrounding the hospital.

Southmead

by Sam Grist

 

Changes to restrict parking in areas surrounding Southmead Hospital will go live from July 1st after a consultation with people living  in the area surrounding the hospital.

Bristol City Council conducted a review of parking around the hospital following complaints from residents who struggle to park near their houses and find their driveways obstructed by parked cars.

Over 5,000 households around the hospital were contacted about the council’s proposals, which have now been finalised and include adding double yellow lines at the end of roads to protect junctions and access points. These changes will be implemented from 1 July.

The new scheme also includes limited waiting restrictions from Monday to Friday, between 1pm and 4pm, which will not be introduced until after the hospital’s onsite car park has been completed.

Councillor Mark Bradshaw, cabinet member for transport at Bristol City Council, said: “The local community in Southmead and Horfield have long been asking for help to tackle obstructive parking and so immediate action is now being taken to make junctions and crossings safer. We have other measures planned which will be rolled out once the delayed hospital car park is operational.”

Claire Hiscott, councillor for Horfield said: “I am delighted to finally see action on this issue and the views of residents being taken seriously.”

Residents have also welcomed the changes. Shannon Porter, a resident of Rodbourne Road, said the last four years had been a “living nightmare” and that if she doesn’t move her car out of her drive by 5.30am she is blocked in by workers from the hospital.

She said that some residents get so angry they have resorted to damaging the cars of visitors and hospital workers.

“There has been damage to windows, window wipers and scratches. There has been a lot of damage to a lot of cars round here.” Shannon said.

Clive Chamberlain, on Alderton Road, said: “They work damn hard in that hospital but it’s horrible for the people who live round here.

“If you are a young nurse and you can save £40 or £50 a week parking in front of my house then that’s what you are going to do. They need to make it cheap and easy for staff to park around the hospital.”

Wendy Kelly, a resident of Grittleton Road, explained: “What I struggle with is if I have visitors or family coming to stay there is nowhere for them to park.

“I come out to walk the dog at 7am and they are already out here fighting for spaces then most of them are there all day because they do long shifts.”

Residents claim that staff and visitors from the hospital park in the surrounding roads. Staff members have responded that the lack of free or cheap parking provided by the hospital means they are forced to park on the public highway.

Nicolas Perez works at the hospital and mainly walks to work due to the lack of parking. He said that the situation will only improve when the hospital can provide cheaper parking for staff. “They are building a new car park that won’t be free for a lot of people so it won’t necessarily change the situation.”

Simon Wood, director of estates, facilities and capital planning for North Bristol NHS Trust,  said:

“We acknowledge that parking at the hospital has not been ideal while work has been continuing on the site.

A new multi-storey car park for patients and visitors is due to open at Southmead Hospital later this summer.

“Shortly after the new multistorey car park opens the existing multistorey will become a staff car park. We will also be opening up additional spaces for both the public and staff around the site over the coming months as they become available.

“We acknowledge that some people do need to use their cars to get to work, but ask staff who choose to park on the road to do so legally and considerately.”

The changes happening in July have been funded by developer contributions made by North Bristol NHS Trust as part of a planning agreement for the new hospital.