Less than a month after Clitheroe’s new multi-million flagship hospital officially opened its doors to patients it has been hit by parking problems.
Crisis talks are being held by health bosses at the East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust due to a chronic shortage of parking at the state-of-the-art hospital in Chatburn Road.
The new £7.4m. facility opened less than a month ago, on June 9th, and currently offers 58 free car parking spaces and seven for the disabled to accommodate cars used by patients, visitors and staff.
However, people visiting the 32-bed two-storey building are complaining that they have to repeatedly drive around the car park searching for a bay and often end up “abandoning” their cars on the road outside the hospital.
Some say that Chatburn Road is so cluttered with cars parked near to the hospital that it has become very difficult for drivers of buses and large vehicles to drive down the road.
Clitheroe resident Mr Ron Loebell has experienced problems.
He said: “It’s a major flaw and it’s absolutely ridiculous. There are just not enough parking spaces for patients and relatives visiting.
“It’s pretty poor that they build a brand new hospital, but do not take into account the number of people visiting the hospital.
“A friend of mine had a 9 am appointment, but when he arrived at the hospital the car park was full and he was forced to park on the road outside.
“Maybe if they introduced a shuttle bus then the situation would not be so bad.”
Mr Martin Morgan, Director of Estates and Facilities at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The new Clitheroe Hospital was designed by East Lancashire Building Partnership and the allocation of parking spaces was agreed with the local planning authority.
“We are aware of the car parking difficulties now the hospital is operational and are consulting with NHS Property Services and the local planning authority in an attempt to resolve the situation.”