Hospital introduces new parking system

Car park barriers at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.
Car park barriers at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.
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A hospital is planning to make changes to parking arrangements and revise its tariffs.

West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, will be installing barriers on the access roads to and from the back of its site, in Hardwick Lane, later this year.

To pass through the barriers, most users will have to collect a chip coin and pay at a machine before leaving.

An automatic number plate recognition system will allow the barriers to open automatically for vehicles belonging to staff and other regular users.

There will be a 30 minute leeway for people making short visits, for such things as dropping off or collecting a patient or for picking up children from the nursery.

Cathy Butler, manager of Busy Bees Nursery, said she was unable to comment on any concerns she may have.

She has a meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss the new arrangements with the hospital.

Drivers entitled to free parking, including disabled drivers and people using the hospice, will be able to get their chip coin validated to avoid payment.

A spokeswoman for St Nicholas Hospice Care said: “We are talking to West Suffolk Hospital and are keen to ensure the new car parking arrangements work well for all who use the site.”

Jan Bloomfield, the hospital’s executive director of workforce and communications, said the barrier system would help its new contractor, OCS, manage its car parks and ‘control the quantity of traffic more effectively’.

Information gathered about the way the car parks are used will be reviewed after six months, with a view to ‘revising’ its current tariffs.