Parking chaos on Lister Hospital site

PARKING at Lister Hospital in Stevenage has been “chaotic” since work to build a multi-storey car park began on site on Monday last week.

Hospital bosses have juggled staff and patients’ parking spaces while the year-long construction work is carried out.

But director of strategic estates, Richard Harman, admitted: “Our plan relies heavily on a park and ride scheme for 250 staff.”

The scheme is run from a car park in Stevenage town centre. “Our current problem is that we have up to 150 spaces at that car park which are empty, indicating those staff are still trying to park on the Lister site,” explained Mr Harman.

“That’s not sustainable. The site can’t stand it and the surrounding roads can’t bear it. We are suffering congestion.”

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One Lister employee, who did not want to be named, but who has a permit to park at Lister, told The Comet: “It’s dreadful. Parking between 8.30am and 9.30am is chaotic.

“There are queues of traffic and it means staff are late for work and patients are late for appointments.

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“It’s causing a lot of stress for a lot of people. Something needs to be done.”

An email has been circulated to staff, warning those who do not use the park and ride scheme as instructed will lose their right to park at Lister when the new multi-storey car park opens next year.

Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Herts NHS Trust - which runs Lister, has a permit to park on the hospital site, and insisted: “I have been through the assessment process like everyone else.

“As I’m not a 9 to 5 worker, and I require my car several times a day, I meet the criteria to have my car on site.”

Since the warning email was sent, things have improved, according to Mr Carver.

“It’s much better this week than last week,” he said. “There are less queues, but there is still inconvenience.

“It’s going to be very challenging, but there’s no way to build this development without some disruption.”

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