Bury St Edmunds: Calls for waiting restrictions around West Suffolk Hospital

A PLAN to ease ongoing parking problems around West Suffolk Hospital has been “kicked into the long grass”, a county councillor has claimed.

Residents have repeatedly complained that a large number of cars belonging to workers at the Bury St Edmunds hospital are clogging roads in the surrounding area, such as Home Farm Lane and Barons Road.

Suffolk county councillor Craig Dearden-Phillips said proposals to remedy the situation, discussed at a recent meeting, had been backed by ward councillors and those living nearby but were now being “held up” by the county’s road boss Guy McGregor.

Liberal Democrat Mr Dearden-Phillips, said: “Basically local councillors, myself and residents have agreed that we want to have a limited time ban in the streets around the hospital.

“However the cabinet portfolio holder for the county council has said he would like to hold off on that pending a conversation with the hospital.”

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He added: “I do not think there is a case for holding it off, it looks like it has been kicked into the long grass.”

Mr Dearden-Phillips, who represents Hardwick, said the proposals, designed to prevent staff leaving their cars for a whole day, would mean a two-hour waiting restriction between 1pm and 3pm in the area around the hospital.

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Sarah Stamp, councillor for Southgate, Bury St Edmunds, said the parking ban appeared to be a “sensible solution” but would need full consultation with residents.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads, planning and transport, said the authority is waiting to see how other measures “bed in” before waiting restrictions are considered.

He added: “We are currently working with the hospital to find a solution to the issue as a whole.

“The hospital has introduced a park and ride service for staff and is encouraging them to travel by means other than their cars. In addition, the county council is looking to improving cycle access and bus services to this part of town.

“Once we have given these measures time to bed in, we will consider additional waiting restrictions. This could involve a one to two-hour restriction in the middle of the day on most of residential roads around the hospital.”

He added: “Naturally, before taking such a step, we would wish to ensure that all other options are explored.”

Jan Bloomfield, executive director of workforce and communications at West Suffolk Hospital, said staff are regularly reminded to show consideration when choosing somewhere to leave their cars.

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