Snow causes chaotic scenes outside Swindon's GWH

This Is Wiltshire: GWH GWH

THERE were the chaotic scenes outside the Great Western Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Patients, visitors, staff and even ambulance drivers were caught up in the long traffic queues which stretched back as far as the A419 in one direction, and Coate Water in the other. Several motorists got in touch with the Adver to vent their frustration and express concern for those patients being brought in as an emergency.

Mum Rachel Bartlett, 26, of Park North, takes her five-year-old daughter Chloe to the GWH every Wednesday afternoon and pointed to the parking system as a point for concern. She said: “The new parking system has made it worse – every Wednesday we have to queue to get on to the hospital grounds. Today there was ambulances having to use the wrong side of the road just to get to the emergency department so it is going to cause an accident.”

Roger Thomas, interim director of estates and facilities management at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the bad weather had caused an increase in cars going onto the hospital site, which caused problems with queuing traffic at busy times – usually early afternoons.

“We apologise for any inconvenience such delays may have caused to patients, visitors and staff or those caught up in traffic around the site,” he said.

“We have a number of parking attendants in place to manage traffic flow onto the site to try to minimise any disruption.

“Car parking on the site has always been limited due to the planning restrictions placed on the hospital when it was opened in 2002.

“We are in discussion with council planners to secure planning permission for more spaces – subject to funding – which we hope will reduce the problem in the medium term. In the meantime, and although we are seeking a short-term solution, we encourage all patients and visitors to use public transport wherever possible, and all patients using the car park to allow plenty of time ahead of their appointment.”

Comments (10)

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9:06am Thu 24 Jan 13

Oldtownmum says...

Parking has always been ridiculous. I used to work there and wasted so much time circling for parking spaces some days. I only lived 5 mins drive away due to the speed of the 419 so wasn't going to pay to get a bus that took 35 mins and travelled all over east Swindon in the process. I hope they do secure funding and approval for more spaces as it was stressful enough as staff but would have been ten times worse if you had an appointment to get to. They should really have fought the parking constraints more at the time.
Parking has always been ridiculous. I used to work there and wasted so much time circling for parking spaces some days. I only lived 5 mins drive away due to the speed of the 419 so wasn't going to pay to get a bus that took 35 mins and travelled all over east Swindon in the process. I hope they do secure funding and approval for more spaces as it was stressful enough as staff but would have been ten times worse if you had an appointment to get to. They should really have fought the parking constraints more at the time. Oldtownmum
  • Score: 0

9:10am Thu 24 Jan 13

PaulD says...

If there were suitable buses to get there then it would be less of a problem. When you are taking time off work to attend an appointment you don't want to have to take an additional 2 hours off just to get a bus, especially when they don't even run according the published timetables on the TT website
If there were suitable buses to get there then it would be less of a problem. When you are taking time off work to attend an appointment you don't want to have to take an additional 2 hours off just to get a bus, especially when they don't even run according the published timetables on the TT website PaulD
  • Score: 0

10:12am Thu 24 Jan 13

adsinibiza says...

Oldtownmum wrote:
Parking has always been ridiculous. I used to work there and wasted so much time circling for parking spaces some days. I only lived 5 mins drive away due to the speed of the 419 so wasn't going to pay to get a bus that took 35 mins and travelled all over east Swindon in the process. I hope they do secure funding and approval for more spaces as it was stressful enough as staff but would have been ten times worse if you had an appointment to get to. They should really have fought the parking constraints more at the time.
I used to work there as well and agree that the parking facilities have always been inadequate. That said I am pleased to see that the hospital is now talking to the council about additional parking spaces. I know for a fact that the council has indicated in the past that they would do everything they could to help as has at least one of the town's MP's - so the surprise is more that they have taken this long to start those discussions.

With regard to the cost the answer is simple, use the hundreds of thousands they make from both the public and staff to pay for the extra spaces - given the large amount of money they rake in from parking there really is no excuse for Roger Thomas to say 'subject to funding.'

Furthermore, once they have provided the extra spaces they should reverse the outrageous increase in the cost of staff parking and other conditions (i.e. only being able to park 6 days out of ten) that were imposed a couple of year ago as if they do the job properly there will no longer be any justification for either!
[quote][p][bold]Oldtownmum[/bold] wrote: Parking has always been ridiculous. I used to work there and wasted so much time circling for parking spaces some days. I only lived 5 mins drive away due to the speed of the 419 so wasn't going to pay to get a bus that took 35 mins and travelled all over east Swindon in the process. I hope they do secure funding and approval for more spaces as it was stressful enough as staff but would have been ten times worse if you had an appointment to get to. They should really have fought the parking constraints more at the time.[/p][/quote]I used to work there as well and agree that the parking facilities have always been inadequate. That said I am pleased to see that the hospital is now talking to the council about additional parking spaces. I know for a fact that the council has indicated in the past that they would do everything they could to help as has at least one of the town's MP's - so the surprise is more that they have taken this long to start those discussions. With regard to the cost the answer is simple, use the hundreds of thousands they make from both the public and staff to pay for the extra spaces - given the large amount of money they rake in from parking there really is no excuse for Roger Thomas to say 'subject to funding.' Furthermore, once they have provided the extra spaces they should reverse the outrageous increase in the cost of staff parking and other conditions (i.e. only being able to park 6 days out of ten) that were imposed a couple of year ago as if they do the job properly there will no longer be any justification for either! adsinibiza
  • Score: 0

11:28am Thu 24 Jan 13

Ricky1 says...

I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country.
I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country. Ricky1
  • Score: 0

11:37am Thu 24 Jan 13

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Ricky1 wrote:
I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country.
Much as it's fun and rightful to blame Swindon Council for lots of things, here I don't think they had much choice.

Instead blame the lunatic policy thought up by Labour that insisted on restricting car parking in favour of (absent) public transport...
[quote][p][bold]Ricky1[/bold] wrote: I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country.[/p][/quote]Much as it's fun and rightful to blame Swindon Council for lots of things, here I don't think they had much choice. Instead blame the lunatic policy thought up by Labour that insisted on restricting car parking in favour of (absent) public transport... The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Jane_Doe says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Ricky1 wrote:
I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country.
Much as it's fun and rightful to blame Swindon Council for lots of things, here I don't think they had much choice.

Instead blame the lunatic policy thought up by Labour that insisted on restricting car parking in favour of (absent) public transport...
The public transport wasn't absent under Labour. JAT.
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ricky1[/bold] wrote: I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country.[/p][/quote]Much as it's fun and rightful to blame Swindon Council for lots of things, here I don't think they had much choice. Instead blame the lunatic policy thought up by Labour that insisted on restricting car parking in favour of (absent) public transport...[/p][/quote]The public transport wasn't absent under Labour. JAT. Jane_Doe
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Captain T says...

This has to be one of the few times swindon needs a multi storey car park! It was ridiculous the other day - it took 15 mins to get from the traffic lights to the first roundabout. But hopefully getting more spaces will ease the issue - expect to see prices go up though i bet!

And public transport is all very well but when the weather causes the buses to cancel, suddenly public transport isn't the ultimate solution is it?
This has to be one of the few times swindon needs a multi storey car park! It was ridiculous the other day - it took 15 mins to get from the traffic lights to the first roundabout. But hopefully getting more spaces will ease the issue - expect to see prices go up though i bet! And public transport is all very well but when the weather causes the buses to cancel, suddenly public transport isn't the ultimate solution is it? Captain T
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Angolan Red says...

Why dont they build multi storey on end of hospital and design it to look like the hospital so they have the option to extend hospital if required into car park. A well designed multistorey looks better than fields full of parked cars
Why dont they build multi storey on end of hospital and design it to look like the hospital so they have the option to extend hospital if required into car park. A well designed multistorey looks better than fields full of parked cars Angolan Red
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Davey Gravey says...

The car park should be bigger and should incorporate a park and ride there. Perfect location already served by buses.
The car park should be bigger and should incorporate a park and ride there. Perfect location already served by buses. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Thu 24 Jan 13

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Jane_Doe wrote:
The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Ricky1 wrote:
I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country.
Much as it's fun and rightful to blame Swindon Council for lots of things, here I don't think they had much choice.

Instead blame the lunatic policy thought up by Labour that insisted on restricting car parking in favour of (absent) public transport...
The public transport wasn't absent under Labour. JAT.
Yes it was. From home I've never been able to get a bus to the hospital without making two changes. And I can't and have never been able to get a bus to the hospital at all from my workplace.
[quote][p][bold]Jane_Doe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ricky1[/bold] wrote: I blame the council planning committee who restricted the parking when allowing the planning application, anyone with any sense should realise that when you build a hospital out of town it will need a large multi-story car park with it. You cannot get sick people to use public transport unless you live in a dream world. The situation is made even worse by the plans to reduce the number of buses going to the hospital. Get real Swindon Council.... the worse run authority in the country.[/p][/quote]Much as it's fun and rightful to blame Swindon Council for lots of things, here I don't think they had much choice. Instead blame the lunatic policy thought up by Labour that insisted on restricting car parking in favour of (absent) public transport...[/p][/quote]The public transport wasn't absent under Labour. JAT.[/p][/quote]Yes it was. From home I've never been able to get a bus to the hospital without making two changes. And I can't and have never been able to get a bus to the hospital at all from my workplace. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

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