Parking plan for health workers

Glenn Priestley with a parking enforcement notice, by Whitegate Drive Health Centre-at the junction of Cumberland Avenue and Whitegate Drive, Blackpool.

Glenn Priestley with a parking enforcement notice, by Whitegate Drive Health Centre-at the junction of Cumberland Avenue and Whitegate Drive, Blackpool.

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TOWN hall bosses are looking at opening a new car park in a bid to alleviate parking problems at a health centre.

It comes after regular patient Glenn Priestley, 59, said visitors to the Whitegate Health Centre, on Whitegate Drive, were being forced to park further away due to a lack of available parking on the site, leading to danger of pedestrians being knocked down on surrounding roads.

Mr Priestley, of Southbank Avenue, Marton, said: “I seriously think that lives are at risk because if someone comes to the Whitegate Health Centre and can’t get parked there’s a really serious danger.

“People are just driving round and round waiting for spots and there’s just no parking.

“I’m trying to instigate a petition because so many people are affected by this.”

Mr Priestley said the problem was compounded by resident-only parking in nearby streets.

He added: “I have my own views about it but I’m rather upset.

“When they got the plans for the centre to be built there were less restrictions but now they’ve come in you can’t park in this area.”

He said that he now has to arrive almost half hour earlier than his planned appointment in order to find a parking spot, or risk parking on double-yellow lines around the building.

He added that he had even seen desperate patients parking in doctor’s reserved bays and said he thought nearby Westmorland and Cumberland Avenues seemed empty during the day when people visited the doctors and there could be a split parking scheme.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for streets and transport, said a plan was in motion to help rectify the situation after years of complaints.

He added: “We really have made every effort to help ease the parking situation around the health centre on Whitegate Drive.

“We have to balance the needs of the patients visiting the centre to those residents living nearby who should be able to park outside their homes.

“There’s a large area of land next to Blackpool Sports Centre that we think would be suitable as an NHS staff car park for those working at the health centre. This idea will be progressed in the New Year and will hopefully address some of the concerns raised by Mr Priestley.”

NHS Blackpool, which owns the centre, was unavailable for comment.