Hospital pay to park plan

Options being considered to tackle parking problems at Honiton Hospital.

Charges are to be considered to tackle parking problems at Honiton Hospital.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the community hospital, told the Midweek Herald that it is in the process of consulting with staff over current and future car parking controls.

One of the options being discussed is the introduction of parking charges for staff and visitors.

A spokesman for the trust said: “As with many community hospitals, car parking is an issue at Honiton.

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“The car park is regularly congested and, with the proposed development of The Bungalow potentially leading to up to 50 more staff being on site at certain times, this would only add to the problem.

“We are also aware that people not visiting the hospital continue to use the car park, which reduces the limited number of spaces available to hospital users.

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“We are in the process of consulting with staff over current and future car parking controls, with the aim of making the facilities more efficient and sustainable and improving the experience of patients, visitors and staff.

“One of the options being considered would involve staff and visitors paying a parking charge.

“This would allow us to control the use of parking on-site and address health and safety risks of vehicles blocking access for all users of the hospital, including patients, deliveries and ambulances.”

The chairman of the Honiton Locality Health and Care Team, Vernon Whitlock, has called for a public consultation to be held to ensure the voices of the local community are heard.

He said: “The reopening of The Bungalow with the potential of 50 staff and patients using the building will put a greater strain on what is already limited car parking.

“Whilst it is essential that those using medical facilities can find somewhere to park, there are some who exploit the free parking for shopping and rail journeys.

“Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, who is responsible for the site, has already carried out a staff consultation. There is now a need for public consultation before any decisions are made to ensure that the voices of those who use the hospital and surgery are heard.”

Honiton Surgery has been consulted and has submitted comments to Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

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