Councillors meet hospital directors and ask them to rethink blue badge parking charges
Kingston Hospital introduced its new parking system on 22 January, which includes new parking charges for blue badge holders yet local stakeholders were only given two weeks notice of these plans.
The consequences of this decision are that many residents have already complained to local councillors stating that the new charges will exacerbate the current issue of blue badge parking on the streets outside the hospital. Galsworthy Road is already an extremely busy thoroughfare for cars, buses and ambulances, and already the effects are being felt on the surrounding roads with dangerous parking, longer bus journeys and roads which aren’t clear for ambulances.
Councillors Rowena Bass and Richard Hudson met with Hospital Directors last week to explain local residents' concerns and try and get the hospital to rethink the charges. The Hospital apologised for the lack of consultation and notice, and agreed to review the scheme in three months time and to meet with the Councilors again.
Cllr Rowena Bass, Ward councillor for Coombe Hill and Chair of Health Overview Panel said,
I was surprised to hear of Kingston Hospital's plans to charge blue badge holders to park on site and I am really concerned about the effect that increased parked cars on Galsworthy Road will have on road safety and traffic hold ups including ambulances.
Already its causing chaos and given the number of people who have contacted us since these plans have been made public, it was important to meet with the hospital to put over local residents views. We strongly requested that the Hospital delayed the new charges and reconsider their parking arrangements.
Cllr Richard Hudson, Cabinet Member for Children's Social Care & Health said,
We had a full and frank discussion with Hospital Directors and whilst I am disappointed that they were not able to delay the scheme, they have agreed to review the scheme in 3 months time. We clearly outlined the concerns that residents had raised with councillors to the hospital directors we met. The hospital outlined that they plan to double the number of blue badge spaces as at capacity.