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Pay & display row near the Royal Berkshire Hospital

The Royal Berkshire Hospital car park at full capacity

Finding parking at any hospital can be difficult at times. Staff and patients at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading often find themselves parking on surrounding streets when the car park is full. However, that has caused frustration for some people who live nearby.

Now it is feared that new restrictions on roads near the hospital are going to lead to more stress for staff and patients.

Reading Borough Council has approved plans to introduce pay and display charges on Addington Road and Erleigh Road despite strong opposition - including a petition with more than eight thousand signatures.

The council says the scheme is designed to make parking easier for neighbouring residents, but campaigners say it is morally wrong.

The interviewees in Mel Bloor's report are Rob Wilson, MP for Reading West, Conservative; and Clare Goulbourn-Lay, the midwife who started the petition.

In response to the suggestion that the hospital move to somewhere with more space for staff and patients to park, a Royal Berkshire Hospital spokesperson said that relocating the Hospital is not a new idea, and has been discussed on a number of occasions.

They added: "A new build could cost in excess of £200 million pounds. Any decision to relocate the hospital is not one the Trust would be able to make alone, and would need in depth discussion with the wider health care economy serving the area, along with NHS England and other partners.".