Hospital centre sparks new parking fears

A CONCERNED county councillor has voiced his fear that a new £25 million treatment centre at a Suffolk hospital will serve to add to the parking woes of people living nearby.

A CONCERNED county councillor has voiced his fear that a new £25 million treatment centre at a Suffolk hospital will serve to add to the parking woes of people living nearby.

Cllr Russell Harsant said that residents living near Ipswich Hospital are already 'suffering' because staff and visitors park on nearby streets.

He fears the new treatment and diagnostic centre, approved by Ipswich Borough councillors on Wednesday, will only make matters worse.

The centre is set to be built on the hospital's Heath Road site, on land which is currently used for staff parking.


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Cllr Harsant, who represents the town's Bixley ward, is calling for the hospital to reassure people by making clear its plans for parking on site in the future.

He said: "The new centre will create a great deal of additional car parking requirements but at the moment people living near the hospital are already suffering on a day to day basis, with on-street parking related to those at the hospital.

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"The NHS Trust are indicating that things will improve but my point of view is that they should sort it out now because otherwise people in my ward are not going to be very enthusiastic about the centre.

"I've heard talk about a multi-storey car park but is that going to become reality? That is the only way I can see that they are going to be able to accommodate the extra spaces needed.

"I want the parking plans spelt out, and I want them spelt out now."

Jan Rowsell, a spokesman for the hospital, said it was aware that there is a need for more parking spaces, and plans are being drawn up to accommodate them.

She added: "Because we are seeing more people more quickly the hospital is busier than ever – we have created 120 new parking spaces already, but we know we need more.

"We have to examine all the options, and one of those options is to build a multi-storey carpark. We are working with Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and all our other partners to look at how we can bring more car parking spaces to the hospital, as well as making access easier.

"We take the issue of on-street parking very seriously, and we have been talking to the Borough Council about it, as well as offering locals themselves the chance to discuss it, we do absolutely everything we can to dissuade from parking on public roads.

"We are open about what we are doing, we just need to look at what's affordable, what's available and what is possible."

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