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West Suffolk Hospital parking concerns proving an 'incredibly difficult' situation




A councillor has acknowledged that attempts to resolve long-standing car parking issues in an area of Bury St Edmunds are proving 'incredibly difficult'.

The issues have arisen from overspill parking from West Suffolk Hospital on to surrounding residential roads.

After multiple concerns were put to Suffolk Highways from frustrated residents, a public consultation process was launched and it was decided no waiting restrictions to deter all day parking could be put in place in 20 roads.

New parking restrictions are to be introduced in residential streets around West Suffolk Hospital
New parking restrictions are to be introduced in residential streets around West Suffolk Hospital

But fresh concerns came earlier this month from residents in one street, Barons Road, that the new proposals could cause more problems than they solve.

At a further public consultation on Wednesday led by Suffolk County Councillor Richard Rout, he acknowledged the situation was proving ‘incredibly difficult’.

“I think I’m going to end up pleasing some people and upsetting others,” he said.

Councillor Richard Rout
Councillor Richard Rout

The no waiting restrictions would be on weekdays between 10am and 11am and 4pm and 5pm. It is hoped this will stop hospital staff, patients and visitors from parking their vehicles in these areas for the whole day.

Cllr Rout added: “This isn’t a perfect solution but it will stop all- day parking.”

His thoughts were echoed by attendees to the public consultation, which was an online Zoom meeting.

One resident said: “It’s just stopping the all-day parking that I think will stop all the problems.”

Bob Jones from Barons Road had called for Suffolk County Council to think again about proposed parking restrictions in his street	Picture by Mark Westley
Bob Jones from Barons Road had called for Suffolk County Council to think again about proposed parking restrictions in his street Picture by Mark Westley

However, one resident from Mayfield Road admitted if restrictions were put in place in certain roads, the problem would be squeezed into other areas.

“I think one of the big things is that if we do something in one area, it’s going to affect another area.”

He added that a plan would need to be put into place to encompass his own road as well after it was discussed a specific proposal may need to be put forward for it.

Meanwhile, one resident raised her concerns for the general lack of sensible driving and parking in the area.

The resident, who lives in Lincoln Green, said: “I have got no issue with people parking on the highway. It’s just the selfish and stupid approach to parking.”

She also said residents were justified in raising concerns about parking in their roads.

She said that towards the end of the week there was ‘ample’ parking in the hospital car park and that residents were not talking about being frustrated with twilight workers and those on night shifts, but mostly office staff causing the overspill issues.

Suffolk County Council’s public consultation is welcoming questions from residents with the deadline to be put to them today. Feedback will then be analysed and help inform final proposals.

If it gathers support, the legal elements can be drawn up, signs put up and lines painted, with a view to being in place in 2021.

For more information, visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/

A West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: "We know that car parking around the hospital is a concern for residents, hospital visitors, and staff.

"We encourage anyone coming to the hospital site to use public transport, cycling, or car sharing wherever possible, and we offer a free park and ride service for staff."

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