Parking scheme proposed to help residents near hospital
A FREE residents' parking scheme could be set up in the streets near Southmead Hospital to ease the pressure of staff and visitors leaving their cars in the area.
Horfield councillor Cheryl Ann is talking with residents living in new homes on the former prefab site off Dorian Road about the possibility of setting up a residents' parking zone on the unadopted roads on the development. She said the scheme would not cost residents or the council a penny because the parking firm would absorb the costs.
People living in the roads around Southmead Hospital are concerned about the impact a reduction in staff parking will have on the site from next year until late 2015.
Employees have been warned that until a second multi-storey car park is built where there are currently hospital buildings, there will be fewer staff parking spaces, although the trust has said it is working on alternative arrangements.
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The residents' parking zone would only solve the issue in one of the areas affected by hospital parking but Ms Ann believes it would improve the situation. She arranged a similar parking scheme in the other prefab site in her ward Penrith Gardens, near the Southmead Road entrance to the hospital after discovering it was unadopted highway and now a towaway scheme operates there.
Ms Ann, who lives in the area, said: "I am inundated with hospital-related parking issues. Residents in Penrith Gardens couldn't receive carers, meals on wheels, GPs and visitors due to the occupied parking spaces."
Ms Ann said there was 100 per cent take up by residents living in Penrith Gardens when she consulted them on the scheme and she feels the same could be done on the unadopted highway off Dorian Road.
She has been in touch with a parking firm about the possibility of a scheme in the area and has started visiting people living in the area to ask for their views.
"It is all about getting the right scheme that suits this area and the company leading this are keen to take time and effort to meet residents' needs," Ms Ann said. "As long as we get an ethical company to deliver the scheme with adjustments residents want to be made to enhance the scheme – such as allowing vehicles in medical emergencies, home births and that sort of thing – we should get it to work."
Ms Ann said the costs would be absorbed by the parking company, which would charge drivers for parking in the area without permits.
"I have been pursuing residents' parking zones and we were shortlisted last autumn, but I very much feel my residents should not have to pay because of the imposition of the hospital and I still stick to that," she said. Ms Ann said she hopes another parking scheme could improve the parking issue for people living near the hospital but is still keen to work with the hospital on providing sufficient parking for staff on the site.