Boris under fire over parking
GLA member accuses London mayor of ignoring issue at hospital
BORIS Johnson has been accused of ‘washing his hands’ of the issue of a shortage of parking at Hillingdon Hospital.
The London mayor, who is also Tory MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip, was asked about the recent NHS announcement that the hospital could not go ahead with a temporary car park due to costs.
Hillingdon’s London Assembly member Dr Onkar Sahota cranked up the pressure on Boris over the issue when he raised it at Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall.
Dr Sahota, a Labour GLA member, said: “As Hillingdon Hospital faces increasing pressures resulting from the biggest programme of hospital cuts and closures north west London has ever seen, demand for the limited and costly parking spaces at the hospital will only increase.
“When I urged the mayor to take a stand on this important issue, he simply batted the ball into the court of the NHS, refusing to criticise the decision.
“Quite why the mayor believes his constituents should continue to have such poor access to the hospital is not clear.”
Dr Sahota, who is also a GP in the Ealing borough, suggested the mayor’s dismissal was consistent with his ‘ war against motorists in outer London’, which has seen him ‘reject 50 per cent of major planning applications in the borough because they provide too many car parking spaces’.
He added: “Maybe the mayor has just failed to grasp how patchy public transport provision is in outer London, in many places creaking under immense demand.
“Residents are expecting their mayor to share and act on their concerns about the local hospital. Instead they are left wondering whose interests he actually represents.”
Mr Johnson, in response to Dr Sahota’s claims, said Hillingdon Hospital is getting £15million of ‘much-needed investment’ in a new acute medical unit, a state-of-the-art endoscopy unit, significant refurbishments in maternity services and improvements in the rehabilitation ward for elderly patients.
He added: “Unfortunately many of the hospital buildings remain in very poor condition and will require substantial investment in the future.
“As mayor and as the local MP, I am working closely with the trust and the other local MPs to identify how best to improve hospital provision for local people, including plans to rebuild the entire hospital.”
Boris said he had met with the NHS Trust responsible for Hillingdon Hospital recently and discussed the parking.
He said: “I am aware of local concerns including car parking provision.
“In the most recent meeting earlier this month, I sought and received assurances over car parking provision.
“I have seen nothing from the trust to suggest that their planned addition to the current car park won’t be built.”
Hillingdon Hospital says it is considering options to improve parking capacity ‘as a matter of urgency’.
When I urged the mayor to take a stand on this important issue, he simply batted the ball into the court of the NHS”
n CRITICAL: Parking at Hillingdon Hospital has become an issue that Onkar Sahota (far left) says London mayor Boris Johnson needs to tackle