Warning over new £16.5m hospital parking

Artist's impressions of the proposed new multi-storey car park and entrance at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Artist's impressions of the proposed new multi-storey car park and entrance at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

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STEPS must be taken to ensure a new parking scheme at Blackpool Victoria Hospital (BVH) does not lead to traffic congestion on surrounding roads, transport chiefs have warned.

The £16.5m scheme for a new multi-storey car park would provide 978 additional parking spaces on the site on Whinney Heys Road, and a new entrance at the hospital.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee is being recommended to back the application, when the plans go before it on Monday, but to defer a final decision until the transport issues have been resolved.

A report to councillors says while the development would reduce the number of staff parking in residential areas surrounding the hospital, the proposals to bring all car parking onto the hospital site “could place additional pressure on existing junctions with associated traffic implications.”

Planners say they need more detailed information in order to assess the “extent of improvement works that may be needed to the existing highway network.”

Transport chiefs warn changes to signal junctions “should be considered to prevent congestion and delays on the local network.”

But the report says the proposals will ease parking problems currently experienced in the vicinity of the hospital.

BVH revealed the plans in August.

The car park would be built over six floors and designed in such a way it could be extended in the future should there be demand to do so.

The new three-storey entrance would be built at the Whinney Heys Road end of the site, and will include a pharmacy, shops, cafe, main reception, waiting area and office accommodation.

It will link into the main hospital and be the main access point for most patients, visitors and staff apart from those using accident and emergency and the maternity unit which will continue to use current entrances.

Funding for the scheme has been borrowed from the Department of Health and will be paid back from income generated through parking charges.

Hospital bosses say the investment will help recruitment of key staff.

The main construction project will take a year to complete and increase the total number of car parking spaces to 2,056 from the current total of 1,081.

It is being recommended councillors defer the application for approval by the head of planning, subject to the submission of satisfactory information about the highways measures which are required, and a legal agreement.

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