BOSSES at Scarborough Hospital are looking at taking car parking to a whole new level.
Following months of misery for patients and staff – who are often unable to find a parking space at all – directors are now looking at the possibility of building another level over the main car park.
James Hayward, director of facilities, confirmed that a feasibility study into the project is about to get under way.
The matter was raised by a member of the public during a meeting at Scarborough Library and was met by cheers and applause among listeners.
Another person commented that a friend, who was visiting a very poorly relative, had spent 50 minutes looking for a space and found it “incredibly distressing”.
Mr Hayward said: “It’s an ongoing problem and the number of complaints about parking is increasing steadily.
“We apologise to people who have had problems.”
He added that the proposed second deck over the car park would create an extra 100 to 150 spaces, in addition to the existing 650.
Mr Hayward also confirmed that an extra 40 spaces had been found in the short term, by allowing people to park on a grassed area, and that parking restrictions had been “relaxed”.
He said: “We have reopened the grassed/gravelled area adjacent to the West Wing which has reinstated around 40 spaces.
“The surface at times can be poor, so we ask the users of this location to take extra care when parking in this area.
“We are however looking to lay additional granite chips very soon as a short term solution to help improve the surface.”
Mr Hayward explained that due to a lack of space, car park enforcement officers will be using more discretion when executing their patrols.
However, he encouraged people to park safely and considerately, saying: “Car park users may still be issued with penalty charge notices for failing to display a valid parking permit and parking in a dangerous manner, for example on pedestrian crossings, footpaths, yellow hatched areas or if they obstruct access to emergency vehicles.
“Within the next few weeks additional road lining will also take place to help improve access around the site.”
He added that if people get a ticket due to a clinic over-running, they will not have to pay.
Almost a year has gone by since parking enforcement began at the hospital on February 1 last year.
Since then, people who do not “pay and display” have risked getting a £60 fine.
Chief executive Mike Proctor said that bosses have been looking the parking situation on a “daily basis”.
He added: “We are sympathetic to people. We need a long-term plan and we’ll get one - I promise you.”