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Row over parking around Royal Preston Hospital

Royal Preston Hospital sign

Published by Laura Pratt at 12:13pm 11th February 2019

A student nurse working at Royal Preston Hospital has been forced leave a note on her windscreen, begging local residents not to vandalise her car.

By Local Democracy Reporter Paul Faulkner

It's after she returned from a shift to find that one of her tyres had been let down.

The 22-year-old – who does not want to be identified – was parked legally in Heversham Avenue late last week when the incident happened.   

In her message she explains that she “works 37.5 hours a week for free and cannot afford a permit” to park on the site itself.

Her story has prompted a flurry of comments from other NHS staff who claim to have been subject to verbal abuse or criminal damage for parking in residential roads in the vicinity of the hospital.

Another student - Katie Bowness - claims to have had a cone deliberately placed under her car, leaving her with a repair bill which will cost her “a fortune”.

Andrew Bamber, a radiographer at the Royal Preston, said that he experienced similar issues when he was a student:

I have had notes put on my car telling me I shouldn’t be parking there, and had my car keyed. Once,  somebody even covered my windscreen in mud,” Andrew recalls.

“I am very sorry to hear that this sort of childish behaviour is still happening.

"If there are no parking restrictions and the car owner pays road tax then there’s no reason why NHS staff cannot park outside people’s houses.

"Perhaps the police should remind people in this area of that fact because damaging another person’s possessions is a criminal act".

Lancashire County Council has confirmed that it has placed cones on some streets in the area as part of work to extend parking restrictions or repaint existing lines on streets which are not getting additional restrictions – which includes Heversham Avenue.

Meanwhile, the trust which runs the Royal Preston has said that it is revisiting the option of building a multi-storey car park on the site.   

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals (LTH) already has planning permission for facility, but had previously said that it was awaiting the outcome of a forthcoming consultation into where NHS services are delivered in Central Lancashire, before beginning work.

Karen Partington, LTH chief executive, condemned reports that staff were being targeted.

“We realise that the parking arrangements at our hospitals are far from ideal and affect our staff as well as cause frustration for local residents, but these sorts of incidents are completely unacceptable.

"Our staff come to work to provide the best possible care for our patients and should not have to deal with damage to their cars or verbal abuse for parking in a nearby street when they return at the end of their shift.

“We have been actively looking to secure more off-site staff parking near our hospitals as well as exploring opportunities for funding to build a multi-storey car park at Royal Preston.”

“We would encourage any of our staff who do encounter this type of behaviour to report such incidents to the police".

Lancashire Constabulary has been contacted for comment.

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