‘Di­a­bol­i­cal’ hos­pi­tal car park to get ex­tra spa­ces

But group say 48 more bays ‘are still not enough’

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HILLING­DON Hos­pi­tal’s congested car park, de­scribed as ‘di­a­bol­i­cal’ by cam­paign­ers, is to in­crease by 48 spa­ces.

New plans, ap­proved by Hilling­don Coun­cil sub­ject to the hos­pi­tal meet­ing con­di­tions, will see a ‘net in­crease’ of sur­face spa­ces in two lo­ca­tions to help al­le­vi­ate cars queu­ing in Pield Heath Road to en­ter the site.

The hos­pi­tal’s NHS Foun­da­tion Trust pre­vi­ously se­cured plan­ning per­mis­sion for a tem­po­rary sin­gledeck car park in De­cem­ber 2014, which would have cre­ated an ex­tra 89 spa­ces for five years, adding to the ex­ist­ing car park’s 390 spots.

But last sum­mer the Trust made a u-turn, say­ing the costs were now ‘sig­nif­i­cantly greater than orig­i­nally en­vis­aged’.

Mar­garet Ross, sec­re­tary of The Com­mu­nity Voice in­de­pen­dent group that mon­i­tors NHS ser­vices in north-west Lon­don and south­west Hert­ford­shire, says more will be needed in the long-term.

She said: “I sup­pose it’s a start, but we need a lot more spa­ces. It’s di­a­bol­i­cal there – you need to get there at least half an hour ear­lier to get park­ing.

“The car park at A&E is ter­ri­ble too. We just need more park­ing all over as far as I’m con­cerned.

“It’s good news that we’re go­ing to get some­thing, but I hope in the fu­ture that they’ll make pro­vi­sions for more.

“There just isn’t enough money, we’ve got to face it. Hospi­tals haven’t got enough money for all they want to do at the mo­ment.”

The ad­di­tional car park­ing spa­ces will get the go ahead if the Trust can meet con­di­tions laid out by Hilling­don Coun­cil, such as the ap­pli­cant meet­ing rea­son­able costs and a re­vised Green Travel Plan.

The pro­pos­als show that vis­i­tor and pa­tient park­ing would be sep­a­rate to staff park­ing with a to­tal of 244 (56%) spa­ces for vis­i­tors and 194 (44%) for staff.

The Hilling­don Hospi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust say they will not be in a po­si­tion to com­ment on the ap­pli­ca­tion un­til a for­mal con­sent has been is­sued with “clar­ity on the as­so­ci­ated con­di­tions”.

A spokesper­son for the Trust said: “The Lon­don Bor­ough of Hilling­don has made a rec­om­men­da­tion to ap­prove an ap­pli­ca­tion to pro­vide ad­di­tional car park­ing at Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal.

“The Com­mit­tee has del­e­gated au­thor­ity to its of­fi­cers to fi­nalise and is­sue a plan­ning con­sent, sub­ject to the ap­pli­ca­tion of var­i­ous con­di­tions and a Sec­tion 106 agree­ment.”

‘TER­RI­BLE’: Con­ges­tion in Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal car park

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