Leeds hospital parking anger

Residents have complained of clogged, dangerous roads because staff from the nearby hospital can't afford parking charges.

There are fears that someone will be killed on Newall Carr Road, in Otley, following claims that hospital staff at Wharfedale Hospital are parking on residential streets.

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Locals say that urgent action is needed to improve road safety following claims that a 13-year-old boy was recently knocked down.

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Father-of-three David Palmer said: "We are most unhappy about the staff from Wharfedale Hospital who park their cars on our street.

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"We can't park our own cars outside our house because the staff at the hospital park there and what's more they have a large car park in their grounds.

"It is not safe to pull out of our drive as we can't see the road and oncoming traffic."

He said that one of the main problems was the speed at which lorries travel down the residential street.

Mr Palmer claimed: "The lorries come down this road at 50mph. There should be double yellow lines down one side and resident's parking on the other side.

"The speed of lorries coming down this road is crazy and there will be a death on this road very soon."

Councillor Graham Kirkland (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said: "It is down to the fact that the staff at the hospital are charged. The way they avoid that is by parking on the street outside.

"There are plenty of parking spaces for staff at the hospital. Most members of staff use those spaces but unfortunately there are those that don't."

He claimed that there are around 150 lorry movements each way on the stretch of road every day.

Councillor Kirkland added: "The best solution would be to make it

cheaper to park inside the hospital."

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We have been contacted by a resident about this issue and we are obviously concerned at any inconvenience that may be caused to neighbours by staff or visitors parking off-site.

"We have taken all steps possible to ensure that our staff park within the hospital grounds. There are no restrictions on the issuing of parking permits and sufficient space for all our staff to park on the grounds.

"The charges for parking are the same across all our hospitals and equates to approximately 1 per day for full time staff. We do not make a profit on car parking and merely cover the costs of providing parking spaces."

Visitors parking charges according to the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust website:

Up to two hours - 2

Up to four hours - 3.50

Up to six hours - 5

Between eight and 24 hours - 8

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