Move to change residents' parking
HIGHWAYS bosses are examining the case for a major change to on-street parking in streets around Exeter's hospital.
Olwen Foggin, county councillor for Heavitree and Whipton Barton, has suggested the introduction of a two hour slot for residents' only parking. Cllr Foggin said she receives a large number of complaints from residents about hospital staff and visitors parking in residential streets. She said: "A two hour parking slot in the middle of the day would mean people working at the hospital would not be able to park there as they would have to come and move their cars. It would also mean that residents did not have to purchase books of tickets for their visitors."
Cllr Foggin added: "I feel that the RD&E should be more considerate to their staff and that the dilemma has been caused by bringing so many services onto one site without providing enough parking."
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon's cabinet member for highways and transportation, has said that the idea will be looked at. He said: "I have spoken to Cllr Foggin about her suggestion to amend the arrangements for residents parking in the roads surrounding the hospital and assured her we will look into it."
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Richard Westlake, county councillor for Newtown and Polsloe believes that the idea is worth investigating.
He said: "We would have to look very carefully at this and consult people. If you had residents' only between noon and 2pm, it would stop commuters parking there all day and could be better for residents who have family and friends visiting.
"If this was introduced in the streets around the hospital then we would need to look at it for Polsloe as we could find that commuters just move further over – but I think the actual concept is worth exploring."
A similar scheme has been introduced in the streets around Torbay Hospital and has been a success. The RD&E is reviewing parking but maintains that on-street parking is a matter for highways.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said: "We are carrying out a comprehensive review of parking for all our Trust sites so that a range of options can be evaluated and considered. This will not cover on street parking arrangements in the area.
"We will discuss any future preferred options with the local planning authority to establish what it would support and to ensure it would dovetail with the green travel plan for the city.
"We have offered a county council member the opportunity for a briefing about our own parking review, but arrangements for that have not been finalised."
Cllr Foggin has said she is disappointed as members of the Exeter and Devon joint highways committee had been led to believe that several councillors would be able to discuss parking issues with the hospital.
She added: "We need to think seriously about providing another park and ride for the city but we also need to ask how safe is it for nurses to be returning to park and ride sites late at night."