'Held hostage in their homes' - City street over-run by cars as people avoid hospital parking charges
PUBLISHED: 08:52 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:21 19 March 2019
Residents are being “held hostage” in their homes as cars use their street to escape hospital parking charges, residents claim.
Homes owners in the Unthank Road area of Norwich say if they move their car they will not have a space until 7.30pm.
They say it is because Colman Community Hospital has introduced parking charges leaving staff and patients dodging the charge by parking down the road.
Resident Kate Slapp is a doctor at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. She has to pay for parking when she works and does not think it is fair.
Dr Slapp said: “The Community Hospital has introduced a charging and restricted parking system within its hospital grounds and as result has turned our street into an extended car park.
“We had no warning, there was no local discussion, we simply began to notice that our street was incredibly busy and popular.”
Mark Page, assistant director of estates and facilities at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC), said that the parking charges were brought in to allow patients to walk around the site as cars were parking across pavements.
He said: “Colman Hospital hosts amputee and neurological rehabilitation services, among others, so patient mobility is often severely compromised, with many reliant on wheelchairs and walking aids.
“We observed that members of the public, as well as staff and patients accessing other local services, were parking on the site. In addition to our own staff this was reducing capacity for patients and visitors.”
But Dr Slapp says that residents have stopped using their cars.
Dr Slapp added: “If we use our cars in the day we lose our space until the evening. We all admit to not using our cars and being held hostage to a precious parking space.
“We try to block spaces with bins, we put notes on their windscreens, we glare at them, we speak to them.
“I would describe our street as one in stress with the problem.
“I have lived here for many years and have always tolerated the odd car as the price we pay to keep The Colman site green.”
Mr Page added that staff and patients are being reminded that other NCHC parking spaces are available at nearby sites.