Protest over hospital parking ‘chaos’

Raleigh Road residents in Fulwood
Raleigh Road residents in Fulwood
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Hospital neighbours have launched a campaign to attempt to tackle parking “chaos” in nearby streets.

Families in Raleigh Road, Fulwood, are planning a series of “peaceful protests”, to try to stop people using the hospital from parking outside their homes.

Plans were approved for a new operating theatre and an extension to a ward at Royal Preston Hospital earlier this year, and residents fear this will make the problem worse.

Mum Rachel Joyner, 38, who moved to the street five years ago, said: “Every time they increase its capacity, which obviously we are in no way against, it increases jobs and shifts and we see a further impact of parking on our road.”

She described the street as an “extension of the hospital car park”, and said fire engines and bin lorries were unable to get down the road. Rachel said residents wanted to raise the profile of the problem, and were considering standing on the pavement from 7.30am each day to stop people parking outside their houses.

Neighbour Jim McConnell, 64, added: “It’s chaos. People have drives they could park in, but because people are parking right up to the gates and on both sides of the road, they can’t get into the drive and it’s very frustrating.”

Miles Timperley, director of facilities and services, said: “We appreciate that some residents find it frustrating when our staff, patients and visitors park on residential roads.”

He said there were off-site car parks, and people were encouraged to use public transport or a shuttle bus, but said: “We cannot stop our staff from parking on residential roads that do not have any parking restrictions, if they choose to do this it is entirely beyond our control, but we do always ask them to park considerately.”

He said the hospital was looking at ways to create additional spaces, and the possibility of a multi-storey car park.

Paul Dunne, County Hall’s highways manager for Preston, said: “We’re aware of residents’ concerns and are currently processing a traffic regulation order which is intended to improve safety and access for emergency service vehicles by preventing parking on the corners. We’re also exploring other options alongside the planning application being developed by the hospital.”