‘It’s safety first’ says Stevenage council as Lister Hospital parking measures spark fury
- Credit: Archant
New parking charges and restrictions next to the Lister Hospital on Coreys Mill Lane in Stevenage have sparked fury amongst some hospital visitors but Stevenage Borough Council says it only made the changes to improve safety and traffic flow in response to residents’ concerns.
From Monday this week new double yellow lines came into operation on some residential streets off Coreys Mill Lane, parking bays adjacent to the hospital, which had been free, became pay and display and disabled Blue Badge holders were banned from parking on some double yellow areas.
The measures sparked some angry outbursts with many questioning why the council should gain revenue from parking that is used mainly for the hospital.
Others said the measures would create confusion for Blue Badge holders and questioned the legality of banning them from parking on double yellows.
Lauren Sowden posted on the Comet’s Facebook page: “I drove past six cars this morning all with parking tickets while the warden strolled past both times I passed them.
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“How dare the council make money on the sick and injured. How many of us rush to Lister in an emergency to see our new child being born or try to get there in time to say our goodbyes to a passing loved one.
“Now how many of us in those situations even think about having the correct change for a parking machine?
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“I’d have no issue if the money went back to the NHS.”
Steve Jones posted: “Ticketing a car for parking doesn’t solve the parking problem, it’s still a car parked, only this time with a ticket attached. It may stop one person from parking their car but another still parks in its place.
“Either way the cars are still parked in the street so how does that solve the congestion.”
Max Keir added: “Legally blue badge holders can park on single and double yellow lines for up to three hours.”
But some were supportive of the new measures. A neighbour who did not wish to be named said: “I am so pleased that we have got back control of our residential streets around the Lister Hospital.
“Now we won’t have to play dodgems again as we travel on the roads leading in and out of the hospital. I am sure the ambulance service will be pleased as well.”
Some hospital users pointed out the only reason people need to park on the roads is because the hospital multi-storey car park is expensive, small and congested.
However a hospital spokesman said the multi-storey is ‘rarely full’ but said the hospital had no involvement with changes made, as roads parking comes under the jurisdiction of the council.
Councillor Ralph Raynor who looks after transport issues at SBC, said: “The pay and display machines are one of a number of measures aimed at improving traffic flow and parking on Coreys Mill Lane and surrounding residential areas.
“The money collected from pay and display tickets is used by the council to improve the safety and traffic flow of Stevenage’s highways as well as support the ongoing cost of parking measures in the town.
“Loading bans on junctions and entrances off Coreys Mill Lane have been introduced to stop all motorists from waiting or parking by the side of the road as this can obstruct ambulances and other emergency vehicles.
“We have increased the amount of parking bays around the hospital and Blue Badge holders are able to park free of charge for as long as they like in any of these spaces.
“Alternatively, Blue Badge holders can pay to park in the hospital’s multi-storey car park.”