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Bristol Mayor's statement on hospital parking problems

People living near Southmead Hospital are upset by staff and patients are parking in their streets Photo:

The Mayor of Bristol has again been called on to do something about the City's parking problems. Last time they were his controversial residents' parking zones. This time they are the result of a lack of spaces at the new Southmead Hospital

A lack of parking on site has led to surrounding roads being filled with staff and visitors' cars.

The streets around the hospital in Horfield have become a car park ever since staff were moved into the new £430 million Brunel Building in May.

Some permit parking is in place but businesses that rely on passing trade want more restrictions to stop this all-day stay.

George Ferguson says he will ask managers at Southmead Hospital to do all they can to encourage alternative transport Credit: ITV West

The local councillor for Horfield, Cllr Claire Hiscott, says she's long been calling on the Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson to help. This is his response:

Unfortunately local residents and businesses are faced with some real challenges as a direct result of the incomplete on-site parking for staff during the hospital’s first year of operation – this is having a knock-on effect on parking on local residential streets.

The Section 106 funding available to us through the planning consent is inadequate to deal with all these issues but does allow us to improve bus services, pedestrian crossings, some road junction improvements and to encourage staff and visitors to use other methods of travel rather than the car. We have also worked with the Trust to improve bus links via the new bus interchange on the site and we are supporting their travel planning work.

At least the worst of this pressure should ease once North Bristol NHS Trust completes its plans for on-site parking and builds a new multi-story car park on the old hospital building site next year bringing the total number of onsite spaces up to 2,700. We’ll be monitoring the impact this extra provision has on on-street parking around the Hospital site.

In the shorter term we will work with local residents and businesses around the hospital site to look at any other parking measures that can be put in place to address current problems. Formal parking restrictions require Traffic Regulation Orders and take some time to put in place so local people need to be aware that there may not be a quick fix.

In the meantime I would ask the Trust to do all it can to encourage all Hospital staff or visitors to use alternative ways to travel to Southmead and if they feel they really have no other option other than the car that they park considerately and legally on local roads.

– George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

One business owner in Horfield fears that unless the situation changes soon, she could have to shut up shop altogether.

You can watch our Bristol Correspondent Richard Payne's report here: