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Essex: Car park expansion plans at Colchester General Hospital

Colchester General Hospital.

Colchester General Hospital.

Plans to add 245 car parking spaces at Colchester General Hospital have been unveiled.

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A report to the board of directors of the Colchester Hospital University Foundation NHS Trust (CHUFT) recommends spending £720,000 to increase capacity at the over-stretched site.

The trust would recoup the money within two years in parking charges. A total of 180 spaces would be available for the public, with the rest for staff.

There is currently a shortfall of 93 spaces, which is set to increase to an estimated 295 once all services from Essex County Hospital have transferred to the Turner Road site.

A planning application would be required for the changes.

Other suggested improvements include using number plate cameras to better access to the car parks. This addresses a common complaint about drivers having to wait at barriers for someone to leave before being able to enter the car park or even turn around.

This would potentially allow the trust to have some car parks as multi-use, bring all of the income in-house as there would be no service charge, and also remove the risk of the barriers breaking down which can cost CHUFT £2,200 per day in free parking.

There are no plans to increase charges to the public for parking, but CHUFT is considering increasing the staff tariff which is currently linked to salary. A flat rate could be introduced.

Longer term the trust may consider building a single-deck above an existing staff car park to create another level of parking, although this could cost in the region of £1million and has been ruled out as an immediate measure. Other future options include a new staff car park at Mill Road, on the other side of the Northern Approach Road.

The CHUFT board of directors meets in public on Thursday from noon at the Colchester General Hospital site.

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