‘Park & Ride’ Option Being Explored To Solve Maelor Hospital Parking Problems
A number of options are being looked at to ease ongoing parking problems at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital – including investigating if there is nearby space for a park and ride.
The suggestions on how to manage the parking situation at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital come as a result of ongoing issues at the facility – with cars often seen parked on pavements and on yellow lines while people are attending appointments or visiting sick relatives/friends.
In January Wrexham.com reported that an external independent report had been commissioned to investigate how the car parking situation could be eased, with demand at the car park seemingly rising.
Staff, patients and visitors travel to the site from a wide geographic area across North and mid Wales and parts of Cheshire and Shropshire, meaning that many people have to drive to the hospital.
Of the 1600 parking spaces available at the hospital the report found that at peak times demand for space can exceed those spaces by around 10%.
The exceeding of capacity at the Maelor has caused issues with both staff and visitors, who have struggled to find somewhere to park for their shifts and appointments. In some cases some patients have missed or been late for their appointments.
Wrexham.com queried with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to find out if there were any details available regarding the report.
Although not provided with a copy, were were told that within the report expanding car parking space is noted as one option that was looked at, however it is noted ‘all suitable land on the site has already been made available for parking’.
When we published our article last month about the car parking issues, one comment that regularly cropped up was developing a multi-story car park near the site. However we are told details within the report state: “Redeveloping existing parking areas to try to increase capacity (eg by changing the layout or introducing multi-storey car parking) would severely restrict parking while work takes place, causing much greater parking difficulties.”
We are told the majority of recommendations from the report are focused on reducing demand and making better use of the car parks rather than creating extra capacity. These include:
- Promoting the use of public transport
- Encouraging car sharing amongst staff, with dedicated parking areas
- Introducing specific long stay and short stay car parks, with ‘better enforcement’ (which is explained as ‘should ensure parking areas near the Hospital are kept for patient use, reduce the number of spaces occupied for a long time by people who turn up early to make sure they can find a space and reduce instances of inappropriate parking’)
- Looking at staggering clinic times, staff shift patterns and visiting times to reduce peaks in demand for parking.
A further recommendation included investigating where there is space nearby that could enable the introduction of a park and ride scheme.
There is no indication as to when any changes at the car park will be implemented, however BCUHB confirmed that a working group, including a ‘public representative’ is being set up to evaluate these options and to consider how they might be funded and implemented.
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