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Hospital parking problems reach new stalemate
4:40pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
HEALTH chiefs have been told to “get their house in order” after residents found themselves divided over how to deal with parking problems outside Southend Hospital.
Following a year-long investigation, Southend Council has concluded there is nothing more it can do to sort out congestion issues in surrounding streets without alienating people.
The verdict has prompted campaigners to turn on the hospital and call for it to take stronger action over where its staff park.
Ric Morgan, an Independent councillor for the area, said: “The main issue is that we are treating the symptoms, not the cause.
“The hospital needs to take a more proactive approach to dealing with this and get its house in order first.
“Otherwise we risk the whole of Southend being turned into a parking restricted area.”
Parking restrictions were introduced in 18 streets around the hospital in 2011 following repeated complaints from residents that they were unable to park outside their homes.
However, the changes simply caused many hospital staff to start parking in streets outside the protected zone, infuriating previously unaffected residents.
In March last year, the council began an extensive survey to find out whether those residents wanted the restrictions extended to their streets, such as Midhurst Avenue or Hobleythick Lane, as well.
The final results, which will be discussed by councillors tonight, showed 53 per cent were against an extension.
The verdict leaves the council without any major options for dealing with the problem itself.