Staff told to use park-and-ride amid hospital parking fears

Artist's impression of the new ward block at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNU

Artist's impression of the new ward block at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH - Credit: NNUH

Patients and staff who are physically able are being urged to use park and ride services amid concerns over hospital parking.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) announced yesterday it was embarking on its biggest construction project since it was first built 20 years ago.

And although only two car parking spaces would be lost in the process, the revelation sparked a debate about parking at the hospital site, and whether there were enough spaces to handle increased patient numbers.

Commenting on social media Cathy Parr said: "Once again there looks to be masses of greenery but no mention of extra parking.

"When people are missing the chance to say a last goodbye to relatives in A&E because they just cannot find a parking space this issue must be addressed."

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And Valerie Barrell said: "Great news but without the provision of extra parking to complement the new building work it will only exacerbate the already difficult problem. Charges need to be reduced as well."

However others said the money was better spent on improving services rather than parking. Pauly Warp said: "Looking at the comments people are more concerned about parking than a new hospital building. If people can't get round a small issue of where to stick the car then God help them."

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A spokesman for the NNUH said they were aware parking was a concern for people, and that once the new interventional radiology unit was complete some spaces temporarily inaccessible would be available again.

He said: "A park and ride service runs between Costessey and NNUH with a bus every 15 minutes Monday to Friday. The first service of the day arrives at the hospital at 6.40am and the last service will leave the hospital at 8.20pm.

"The service is free for staff and is a £1 return for other users. There is plenty of parking at Costessey Park and Ride and we would urge people who are physically able to use the bus whenever possible as parking at the hospital cannot be guaranteed at peak times."

There are also plans for a privately-run multi-storey car park to be built next to the hospital, providing an extra 800 spaces.

Outline planning permission was granted but a spokesman for Bullen Developments said it had no update on the scheme.

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