PEOPLE living near West Suffolk Hospital are becoming increasingly frustrated with parking problems in their streets.
Many blame June’s hike in the hospital’s parking charges for pushing staff and patients to look for free alternatives nearby.
And ‘the issues are escalating’, according to Sarah Stamp, borough councillor for the Southgate ward.
She said: “While I have every sympathy with the difficulties faced by the hospital staff and patients in finding parking at a reasonable cost, there is no doubt that some of them are parking inconsiderately which is leading to a whole raft of problems for people living in the surrounding area.
“I would urge them all to be considerate when they seek to park on a public road and to bear in mind both access for those who live in the road and safety as a whole.”
Stella Bradfield lives in Home Farm Lane and cannot walk far because she has arthritis in her leg. She has had a disabled bay put in front of her house to stop others parking there, after months of having to park a distance from her home.
“It was horrendous, I felt trapped because I couldn’t go out,” she said.
“When it first started we were all a bit shell-shocked,” said neighbour Diane Joynson.
She said there had been dangerous situations where she had come ‘face-to-face with other cars and a young lad on a scooter’ when parked cars have forced her to drive on the wrong side of the road.
“I’ve lived here for 20 years with just the odd dog walker, now with hospital workers parking here, it’s just not very pleasant,” she said.
“My wife hates it, she makes my life a nightmare over it,” said Derrick Lawless, whose disabled mother-in-law will no longer visit and whose business, which he runs from home, is suffering because companies have refused to make deliveries.
“If the council don’t do something I will because I won’t put up with it any longer,” he said.
Residents in Barons Road, Hardwick Heath Garden and Rembrandt Way are among others affected.
Cllr Stamp and county councillor Craig Dearden-Phillips have organised a workshop in the Southgate Community Centre on November 2.
Representatives from the police, hospital, councils and local residents are invited to attend to try to find solutions.
Hospital staff have the option of parking at the rugby club and using a free shuttle bus to reach the hospital.