QA Hospital looking to ease traffic at site and boost bus services

PLANS are in place to improve congestion at a hospital and hopefully see more buses serving it.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 4th May 2017, 7:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:49 pm
A bus pulls up at QA Hospital
A bus pulls up at QA Hospital

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, is looking to ease traffic issues within the Cosham site.

Problems with queuing cars has affected bus services, causing them to run late.

Now the hospital is considering making the site’s roads into a one-way network.

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The issue of congestion was discussed between PHT and members of the city council’s Portsmouth health overview and scrutiny panel (Hosp) last month.

At a Hosp meeting held earlier this week Denmead councillor Mike Read asked for an update on the situation.

He said: ‘First Bus is reluctant to put a bus through the site from the north because it is chaotic.

‘What is the situation in regards of the review?’

Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs at PHT, was at the meeting to answer.

He said: ‘The main problems are the large number of outpatients attending the hospital throughout the day.

‘There has been a review on the timings so there is a more even spread during the week.

‘We have also reviewed the car parking facilities for the public as we find some visitors tend to use the old north car park which used to be the main one.

‘They come in off Southwick Hill Road but we are trying to encourage them to come in off Southampton Road.

‘People come in from the south and the east and that’s where the traffic problem is and the buses struggle.’

To help with the problem Mr Mellor said the north car park could be used for staff only and placed behind barriers – rather than the pay and display it is at the moment.

He added it is hoped the public will be directed to the multi-storey car park opposite the main entrance.

But he said one way to clear the problems is to turn the site into a one-way system.

Mr Mellor added: ‘The key thing from a bus point of view is the uncertainty of the time it takes for them to get through the hospital.

‘The only way around that is to make the road one-way.

‘We are considering doing that and our works department will be contacting the bus services to see if we can get to some arrangements.’

A First Bus spokesman said: ‘We’re pleased to learn that there’s discussions taking place about improving the congestion issues at the Queen Alexandra Hospital. The three services that we operate directly to the hospital – the 2, 3 and 18 – do occasionally have difficulties accessing the bus stop at the site.

‘Previously we operated another service to the hospital, the X9, which was withdrawn in January. But the decision wasn’t made because of congestion, it was the level of usage that made it unsustainable.

‘We look forward to seeing improvements made to the roads surrounding the Queen Alexandra Hospital. By allowing easier access for our buses, it will help us to ensure the punctuality of them.’