SIXTY car parking spaces at the former Kingston Prison site in Portsmouth have been rented to help ease pressure at a health centre.
Solent NHS Trust, which runs some of its services from the St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Milton Road, Milton, has paid for the spaces for the next two years.
Since taking over the running of the St Mary’s Community Health Campus, the trust has experienced a high demand for car parking spacesHilary Todd, from Solent NHS Trust’s estates rationalisation programme
The spaces will be for staff only, freeing up the main car park for patients and visitors.
With more services eventually moving to the campus, plus a possible move of the Guildhall walk-in centre, the trust said it was still looking at plans for a two-storey car park to be built there.
Hilary Todd, from the trust’s estates rationalisation programme, said: ‘Since taking over the running of the St Mary’s Community Health Campus, the trust has experienced a high demand for car parking spaces.
‘This has unfortunately resulted in patients and visitors being unable to gain access to the site and has led to vehicles blocking critical areas.
‘We are looking at parking solutions for the site, which is why we have rented these spaces at Kingston Prison.
‘They are about a five to 10-minute walk from the campus.
‘We are still progressing the multi-storey option as part of the movement of services over from St James’ Hospital to this site.
‘But we have to go through a significant number of hoops before we can get to that stage.’
The information was given at Portsmouth City Council’s health, overview and scrutiny panel meeting.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, who represents the ward the health centre is in, said parking was a major concern in the area.
Cllr Stagg said: ‘The prison will eventually be redeveloped and those 60 spaces will be lost, so I am concerned about how that will impact on the site and the surrounding area.
‘Plus we did used to have a multi-storey car park there, so perhaps that should have been considered before it was knocked down.’
The trust said it had also brought in a parking firm to monitor those entering the main site. Details are in the panel on the left.
Parking firm brought in to monitor health site
FINES will be issued if people flout parking rules at St Mary’s Community Health Campus.
As well as renting 60 spaces for staff at the former Kingston Prison site, Solent NHS Trust has also appointed Total Parking Solutions to put in an automatic number plate recognition system.
Cameras are being used to record the registration numbers of vehicles entering the site in order to make sure parking spaces are being used by patients, visitors and key staff members.
Changes have been made so more spaces are available and patients can pay by cash or card for the length of time they stay before leaving.
The first 15 minutes are free and there are concessions or free spaces for blue badge holders and volunteers.
A fine of £50, which will be reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days, will be issued if someone is found to be parking inappropriately.
Charges are £1.50 for one hour, £2.50 for two hours, £3.50 for three, £4 for four hours, £5 for five hours, £6 for six hours and £9 for more than six hours.