The car parking situation at Bradley Stoke Surgery has improved significantly after staff at the doctors’ practice were told, in January, that it would become a “disciplinary offence” to park on the site, a meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Planning Committee has heard.
Patients of the surgery had complained that they were finding it impossible to find a parking space and many expressed frustration that the town council appeared to be exacerbating the situation by actively discouraging use of the parking area at the adjacent Brook Way Activity Centre.
The town council wrote to the surgery in December asking that they “look at improving parking for their visitors and remind staff about off-site parking” and, after no reply was received by mid-January, representatives from the surgery were asked to attend the February meeting of the Planning Committee “to discuss parking issues on the Brook Way site”.
Dr Norman Douglas and practice manager Sandra Lloyd duly attended the council meeting, and, asked by committee chair Cllr Tom Aditya to explain their “solutions”, Ms Lloyd explained the new enforcement regime for discouraging staff parking, which she said had resulted in an “adequate” number of spaces being available for patients since it was introduced in January.
Ms Lloyd added that the surgery maintains a list of the registration numbers of vehicles owned by staff and she regularly patrols the car park to ensure that none of those are present.
Of the 25 spaces owned by the surgery, two are reserved for on-call doctors, one for a midwife and another for pharmacy staff, which should leave 21 available for patients. However a further two spaces are currently being used by staff who are “incapacitated” (one is pregnant and the other recovering from an operation).
Ms Lloyd reported that spaces for patients had been available on every occasion she had inspected the car park since the new policy was introduced. Dr Douglas added that there are now always spaces available when he arrives at the surgery at 8.15am, whereas previously the car park was often full at that time.
Asked by one councillor where the bulk of the surgery’s staff are now parking their vehicles, Ms Lloyd replied: “Anywhere legal”.
A further measure being taken by the surgery is the planned introduction, later this year, of Saturday clinics for flu vaccinations, which it is hoped will ease pressure on mid-week parking during the busy months of October, November and December.
Councillors also noted that the replacement of a sign which stated that the town council’s side of the car park was “strictly for activity centre users” with one that indicates that it is “open to all users”, unless chained off, has also helped improve the situation.
This article originally appeared in the March 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine. Our magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,250 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Photo: Chaotic car parking at Bradley Stoke Surgery in July 2013.
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