COUNCILLORS BACK RESIDENTS IN ACTION OVER CROSSPOOL HOSPITAL PARKING
Crookes and Crosspool Labour councilors Anne Murphy and Craig Gamble Pugh are supporting the residents in a long-running parking row.
Residents in the Sandygate Park area of Crosspool say they have been let down by a private hospital over assurances to end disruptive parking by staff near their homes.
Narrow residential roads are daily used as a car park by staff from the nearby Claremont Hospital.
Angry residents say they have had enough and want action by the police and the city council to end the long-running row, which is blighting their lives. They have sought help from Anne and Craig who have held meeting with the residents.
“A minority of staff at the hospital are behaving irresponsibly and inconsiderately,” said John Parsons who added that access to his home on Sandygate Park is often obstructed.
“The roads on Sandygate Park are very narrow and there is also a safety issue with people parking on Carsick Hill and Ivy Park Road – often partly on the pavement.
“Cars are parked bumper to bumper making it difficult for delivery and emergency vehicles to get though.”
Staff are not allowed to use the car parks at the hospital, on Sandygate Road. It seemed the problem had been solved when, in response to residents’ protests backed by councillors, the hospital, last year, arranged extra off-road parking for staff in the area.
Residents say those parking places are left empty with some staff refusing to walk even a few hundred yards and continuing to park on narrow residential roads in defiance of pleas from the hospital management.
Councillors Anne Murphy and Craig Gamble Pugh are determined to see action taken. It is hoped to arrange a meeting between residents and the community police officer. They also want a meeting to explain the residents’ concerns to the city council officials responsible for parking and roads.
“We were promised by the director of Claremont Hospital that staff would be encouraged to use the alternative car parking spaces but unfortunately there is a group of staff who have deliberately ignored those requests,” said Coun Murphy.
“The residents are often elderly and in some cases disabled and access to their homes is important. This should not be happening, it’s unnecessary and we will work for a solution.”
Coun Gamble Pugh added: “Anne and my predecessor (Councilor) Geoff Smith brokered a parking deal but I’m disappointed that the hospital and staff have not kept up their part of the bargain to solve this problem once and for all.”
Residents say they can identify cars that park regularly on both weekdays and at weekends with some vehicles left for up to 12 hours at a time.
Some have tried to talk to the drivers and explain the problems but say they are met with abuse and threats.
“If you challenge the (hospital) staff you are abused and residents have been threatened with being reported to the police for being ‘aggressive’,” said John Parsons.
“People have been accused of vandalising cars with no evidence or cause. In one appalling incident a pensioner in his mid-70s found two policemen at his door saying he had ‘behaved aggressively’ to two female members of (hospital) staff after he challenged their obstruction of his drive.”
He added: “With the help of our local councilors we did feel the problem had been resolved but it’s not the case. I can’t be optimistic after three years of trying, and five meetings with the director of the hospital, that something will be done by the hospital.”