Blue Badge parking row at Royal Lancaster Infirmary after cuts to accessible spaces

Parking has been restricted outside A&E.
Parking has been restricted outside A&E.
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Disabled drivers say they are struggling to park at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary after restrictions were put in place which reduced Blue Badge spaces outside the hospital.

Brenda Sandham said she has had major problems taking her disabled husband James to the RLI since the changes.

“As long as I can remember the parking along Ashton Road has been accessible for Blue Badge holders but suddenly it’s off limits and everyone is getting parking tickets,” she said.

Mrs Sandham, 76, said it affects up to 20 spaces which could previously be used to park opposite A&E and by the entrance to the Centenary Building.

“The problem is there are not many disabled spaces at the hospital,” she said. “I need a large space to get my husband into his wheelchair. On our last visit we spent about 30 minutes looking for a space and in the end we had to park there and get a ticket.”

Fellow motorist Chris Wright said: “Now I don’t think there will be any more than a dozen available parking spaces for Blue Badge holders in total at the RLI.

“Parking at the hospital has been at a premium for a number of years and this latest move will do nothing to alleviate the problem. Paying for parking by Blue Badge holders isn’t the issue, people are willing to pay if places are available for them.”

Lancashire County Council say they were asked to extend ‘no loading/unloading at any time’ restrictions opposite the A&E entrance, and place new ‘no loading/unloading at any time’ restrictions around the junctions on the same side as the A&E entrance. A bay has also been introduced only for use by police vehicles.

A spokesman said: “We introduced changes to the parking restrictions around the entrance of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary last year following requests from the ambulance service and the police for unobstructed access to the A&E for emergency vehicles.

“We’re aware of the pressures on parking and consulted with the hospital, as well as with a range of other stakeholders, before bringing forward a final proposal.

“The changes were introduced after no objections were received to the plans published as part of the formal consultation.”