Spin on Green Travel Plan is shameful

Reading the article in the Chichester Observer [‘Petition against “disgraceful” hospital parking price hike’. 13 September] regarding the ‘Green Travel Plan’ of the Western Sussex Hospitals’ NHS Trust, I was left angered and vexed by the spin and presumptions of Mr David Jones, director of estates and facilities.

To publicly announce a ‘Green Travel Plan’ and not to make the ‘Green Travel Plan’ itself public is shameful.

To say ‘roads around our hospitals become more congested and polluted by traffic generally’ must only refer to the roads on hospital grounds because he suggests ‘colleagues... can park for free just ten minutes away by foot’.

Here I presume he is referring to roads such as on the Swanfield estate which borders St Richard’s Hospital. By advocating this he shifts the problem of ‘more congested and polluted by traffic generally’ to neighbourhood roads and shows gross inconsideration.

In making the suggestion that colleagues can also apply for ‘on-street parking permits’ shows little understanding of the occupancy of a road such as Melbourne Road. This road has six HMOs with varying numbers of cars for each.

Four of these HMOs serve students at the University of Chichester, another high-vehicle-usage institution.

All quadrants of the city have high parking usage of personal vehicles with St Richard’s Hospital, University of Chichester, West Sussex County Council, Chichester College and Chichester District Council.

The only ‘new park-and-ride car parks served by a free-to-use minibus service’, as I later found, is between Worthing and Shoreham hospitals. It has no apparent implication, as generally expressed here, to any implied out-of-town park-and-ride schemes.

At least the developer of the NHS Trust land to the north of the hospital had the foresight to make parking mainly off-road and with, presumably, county council approval, had double yellow lines on most of the roads, so preventing parking by hospital staff ‘parking for free just ten minutes away by foot’.

This is totally different from the lack of foresight shown by the NHS Trust when developing the prestigious hospital with regards to car parking.

It is questionable that the NHS Trust seeks to retain staff when historically little consideration appears to have been given to car parking.

With this apparent lack of foresight it is questionable why the problem should be passed to the surrounding neighbourhood and then only to the east and the south.

A decade or so past I campaigned with other residents of Melbourne Road, for a return of our road to the residents instead of it being a car park. People would arrive around 7am, eat their breakfast and then leave their cars for ten or 11 hours.

Through residents’ parking we are very thankful to the county and district councils for changing a long-term car park road to a neighbourhood road for its residents, who are a variety of people from young families to the elderly.

Peter Burden-Teh, Melbourne Road, Chichester