December 10 2013 Latest news:
By DAISY WALLAGE
Friday, June 22, 2012
Up to 180 staff living near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn are to lose their parking permits in a bid to ease overcrowding.
Improvements to the staff and visitor car parks will be carried out in stages over the next few years with a view to eventually building a new multi-storey car park at the site.
The first phase of the overhaul is due to start in September when most parking permits are up for renewal.
A survey found 180 staff with permits lived on the Springwood and Gaywood housing estates, just minutes from the hospital, and these permits will be restricted following talks with employee representatives.
The hospital must show both West Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council that it is making the best use of existing space before it will be allowed to provide further parking facilities, such as the multi-storey car park.
This week also saw the trust apply to the borough council for planning permission to alter the earth bund separating the parking area from the A149 heading towards the Knight’s Hill roundabout.
It is hoped that excavating about 6ft of the bund - without reducing its height - will create enough space for 270 additional spaces without making it less effective. Work will start later this year if permission is granted.
Several small trees on grassed island in the main car park have also been removed and the areas cleared to create about 20 extra spaces.
The changes will see around 250 spaces close to the hospital, including 27 disabled spaces, designated for visitor parking only.
Staff living on the nearby estates will not have their permits withdrawn if they have a genuine need to drive to work, such as a disability.
A spokesman said: “It does not make sense to issue permits to people who live within a couple of minutes walk from the hospital. Parking has been a problem for some years now and if we want planning permission we need to do all we can to free up car parking spaces on site.
“The reaction from staff is that it makes sense.”
Plans for a multi-storey car park have been backed by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss and North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham following complaints from constituents about the existing facilities.