Work to begin next month to expand Colchester General Hospital car park
Work is expected to begin next month to expand the car park at Colchester General Hospital.
Colchester Borough Council (CBC) has granted planning permission for the increase, which will see the number of public parking spaces rise from 393 to 584.
Hospital bosses have also confirmed parking charges will not go up to cover the £850,000 of doing the work.
Prices have now stayed the same at the hospital, in Turner Road, as they have been for almost eight years.
Of the additional 191 spaces, 180 will be in the main car park and achieved through extensions and alterations.
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The number of disabled spaces will also be increased with seven extra in the main car park and a further 11 between Accident and Emergency and the Gainsborough Wing.
Staff car parking will also be expanded by an additional 40 spaces following work to provide a new surface and better drainage within the existing employee parking area.
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Nick Chatten, special projects director at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (CHUFT) which runs the hospital, said: “This is good news for patients and visitors because it is well-known that at certain times of the day, particularly during weekdays, it is not always easy to find a parking space.
“Our advisors tell us this expansion of public parking spaces will be sufficient to meet demand for the foreseeable future.
“We have already gone out to tender and found a contractor, so I expect work to begin in mid-March and take approximately five months.”
Measures to improve traffic flow will also be installed, such as a filter lane into the main car park and a single entry point from the north entrance.
Other improvements will include a new path linking the bus stop on Turner Road between the North Entrance and South Entrance directly to the hospital’s main entrance.
This will make the walk shorter for passengers arriving and leaving the hospital by bus.
There will also be signs installed outside the main public car park to inform drivers about the number of available parking spaces.
Mr Chatten added that CHUFT would continue to encourage staff, patients and visitors, wherever practicable and possible, to consider alternatives to travelling to the hospital by car, such as public transport.
The work will be carried out by Brooks and Wood of Ipswich.