People living in the streets near the Royal Sussex Hospital have spoken of their frustration at NHS staff using their roads as an unofficial car park.
All NHS staff, health and social care staff and NHS volunteers are now entitled to a pass which allows them to park in council on-street bays and off-street car parks free of charge.
During lockdown, the numbers of staff still working at the hospital were reduced which meant that this didn’t cause too much of an issue.
But since more employees – including office staff, managers and support staff – have returned to work, the streets around the hospital have been full of hospital workers’ cars.
And this is particularly frustrating for residents who are paying £140 a year for controlled parking which is now not being controlled in the same way.
Carole Donovan, a member of the Bristol Estate Community Association (BECA), said: “There is a lot of frustration, particularly since it appears that it’s not front line staff but office staff/managers.
“It’s a lot, lot worse since the easing of lockdown and non essential staff returned. I don’t know why they don’t use the park and ride.
“I counted 31 cars on Walpole Road last week and 25 were displaying NHS badges.
“It’s not only there, although that’s particularly bad, it’s the whole of Zone H.
“It’s not that we aren’t grateful, it’s just that they are pushing the residents out. They seem to park where they want, including double yellows and motorcycle bays, although there seems to have been a crack down on that.
“I now don’t want to come back after the school run in the mornings.”
Another resident who lives in Bowring Way said: “There are so little parking spaces and every week there are more and more hospital staff parking here displaying a key worker permit.
“Yesterday we had 17 out of 23 parking spaces.”
A spokesperson for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust seeks to be a good neighbour in all its activities.
“Although the Key Worker Parking Scheme allows parking in resident only bays, this fact is not promoted in the information shared with staff, and they are encouraged to use pay and display bays.
“The trust further supports the initiative by running its park and ride scheme for staff in a Covid safe manner and by not charging staff for parking on site.
“Information about the proper use of the parking scheme is available to all staff and is shared with them regularly.”
A council spokesman said: “A council spokesperson said: “We are continuing to offer free parking for NHS staff, Health or Social Care Workers and NHS Volunteer Responders while carrying out their duties in line with guidance from the British Parking Association.
“From 1 October, all staff must have a relevant pass shown on their windscreen instead of a letter to be eligible to this offer.
“We have recently increased enforcement to ensure that only those that are eligible, benefit from this scheme. We have also displayed warning letters and contacted the hospital to make them aware of this.
“We want to thank all NHS staff, Health or Social Health workers and NHS Volunteer Responders for their vital work throughout this pandemic, keeping the people of Brighton & Hove safe.”
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