Parking headache cure at Lister

An important part of the �150m redevelopment of Lister Hospital began operating today (Friday) aimed at solving a major headache for patients.

The new �7.9m multi-storey car park opened its barriers to visitors this morning - with planners confident it will solve years of car parking misery at the site.

The new facility, part of a scheme to turn the hospital into the main acute inpatient and emergency site in the area, has taken a year to construct by specialists VINCI Park who will also operate it in a 30 year deal with East and North Herts NHS Trust.

The five storey building, constructed on part of the old car park, has room for 499 cars - 63 of them for blue badge holders – with free parking for bikes and motorbikes. It also has ecologically friendly features such as a ‘green wall’ of hydroponically fed ivy, a silent turbine generating 10 per cent of its electricity needs, free charging points for electric vehicles, and intelligent lighting, and beside it is an area of landscaped grassland with seating.

The remainder the former car park will provide room for 150 staff vehicles as well as another 18 blue badge drivers. Once the whole site is completed in 2014, it will have 1,650 car parking spaces, providing 517 more bays than before.

Trust chief executive Nick Carver said while much of the focus of the redevelopment has been on clinical services, parking is equally important.

“It is one of the most frequent issues raised with me year-on-year by people. This is why I am delighted that the new car park has been built to schedule and budget. Everyone – our staff and patients – have put up with a great deal of disruption over the last year. I am confident everyone will be pleased with this important new development.”