Councillor hits out over hospital parking

Dorset Echo: 'STRESSFUL’: Dorchester town councillor Susie Hosford at Dorset County Hospital car park 'STRESSFUL’: Dorchester town councillor Susie Hosford at Dorset County Hospital car park

A DORCHESTER councillor has hit out over parking at Dorset County Hospital.

After it was revealed that more than 19,000 patients failed to turn up to appointments at the Dorchester hospital every year, town and district councillor Susie Hosford has suggested some could be deterred after struggling to find a place to park.

She said the impact of parking difficulties at the hospital is also causing problems for residents living nearby and has urged the hospital to embrace an impending opportunity to increase its parking provision.

Cllr Hosford said: “Everybody’s had the same experience whether you are a visitor or a patient – it’s incredibly stressful not knowing whether you are going to be able to park or not.

“I wonder whether some of those people not turning up are getting too stressed trying to park and just leave.”

Cllr Hosford is chairman of Dorchester Town Council’s planning and environment committee, which has been regularly lobbied by residents in streets such as Wessex Road and the Victoria Park area of town who claim hospital workers are parking there and blocking up the roads.

She said: “It’s a huge issue in terms of the staff parking all over the town and cluttering up residential areas.”

Cllr Hosford said the town council had written to the hospital setting out the concerns of residents, and had received a response acknowledging there was a problem but not proposing anything constructive to tackle the issues.

She said Dorset County Hospital had an opportunity with plans for Damers School to move to Poundbury for September 2015 to use the school site to address its parking needs.

Cllr Hosford said: “In the longer term we have the Damers School site, which is going to become vacant when Damers School moves up to Poundbury.

“The idea has always been that the hospital takes that site back and develop it.

“I think the town council and generally people in the area are taking the view that the site has got to be prioritised for parking, not for further development of hospital services.

“The thought of them developing that site and not putting any extra parking in is appalling.”

Cllr Hosford said that the hospital could also make greater use of park and ride, particularly for administrative staff on regular day shifts.

A spokesperson for the Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are treating many more patients now than we did when the hospital site was designed and built over 20 years ago.

“Consequently, our car parks can no longer accommodate everyone who wishes to park here, which is why we encourage staff, patients and visitors to use alternative means of transport if they can.

“We support and promote car sharing, public transport, the park and ride service and cycling.

“We also regularly remind staff to park considerately if they choose to park in neighbouring streets.

“Government policy makes it clear that creating more car parks is not the way forward for addressing congestion issues.

“We are working with Dorset County Council on sustainable travel initiatives.

“We are not aware of patients routinely missing appointments because they cannot park.”

Comments (4)

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4:36pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Bumpkin says...

A solution needs to be found as public transport is not always a readily available option around here and it is extremely stressful for anxious/unwell people who need to park. Perhaps the hospital could sell the Damers School site to a developer who will build an underground car park with a tunnel into the hospital next door?
A solution needs to be found as public transport is not always a readily available option around here and it is extremely stressful for anxious/unwell people who need to park. Perhaps the hospital could sell the Damers School site to a developer who will build an underground car park with a tunnel into the hospital next door? Bumpkin
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Wed 23 Apr 14

February1948 says...

Both my husband and I have been caught out by the lack of parking. My husband, en route for a check up following heart surgery drove round and round the car park, getting more and more stressed due and ended up parking in Williams Avenue. Needless to say, a parking fine followed, which he objected to but got nowhere. By the time he arrived for his appointment he was not in the best state of health. My experience involved having to leave my daughter in A & E following a riding accident, and moving the car from one street to another, due to a lack of spaces in the car park. If they got rid of the shrubs and trees, pretty though they might be, it would help.
Both my husband and I have been caught out by the lack of parking. My husband, en route for a check up following heart surgery drove round and round the car park, getting more and more stressed due and ended up parking in Williams Avenue. Needless to say, a parking fine followed, which he objected to but got nowhere. By the time he arrived for his appointment he was not in the best state of health. My experience involved having to leave my daughter in A & E following a riding accident, and moving the car from one street to another, due to a lack of spaces in the car park. If they got rid of the shrubs and trees, pretty though they might be, it would help. February1948
  • Score: 2

1:46pm Thu 24 Apr 14

nuber says...

The hospital should never have been built there, it should be up on New Poundbury where there is easy access to all main routes and there would have been plenty of room to park! Then Damers school could have expanded where it is - central for all and not be relocated to New Poundbury where it will make it more difficult to walk/cycle to.
The hospital should never have been built there, it should be up on New Poundbury where there is easy access to all main routes and there would have been plenty of room to park! Then Damers school could have expanded where it is - central for all and not be relocated to New Poundbury where it will make it more difficult to walk/cycle to. nuber
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Thu 24 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

nuber wrote:
The hospital should never have been built there, it should be up on New Poundbury where there is easy access to all main routes and there would have been plenty of room to park! Then Damers school could have expanded where it is - central for all and not be relocated to New Poundbury where it will make it more difficult to walk/cycle to.
Maggie would not like that suggestion at all.

She likes the hospital situated where it is, down the hill where the commoners live. LOL!
[quote][p][bold]nuber[/bold] wrote: The hospital should never have been built there, it should be up on New Poundbury where there is easy access to all main routes and there would have been plenty of room to park! Then Damers school could have expanded where it is - central for all and not be relocated to New Poundbury where it will make it more difficult to walk/cycle to.[/p][/quote]Maggie would not like that suggestion at all. She likes the hospital situated where it is, down the hill where the commoners live. LOL! westbaywonder
  • Score: -1

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