Hospital to get more car parking spaces

East Surrey Hospital is to increase its number of car park spaces.

The hospital has applied for planning permission to build an extra 300 spaces on site and it will begin the first phase of work to create some of those at the end of this month.

Ian Mackenzie, director of information and facilities at the hospital, said 157 spaces would be created by the middle of May.

He said the need for additional spaces would be assessed again after that and more would be created if required.

He said a queue of 20 to 30 cars tended to build between 2pm and 3pm each afternoon, usually from visitors, so an extra 157 spaces should more than accommodate them.

There are currently 1,447 spaces on the site which, according to residents writing on the Crawley Observer Facebook page, is not enough.

Many of those who commented on the subject also said the price of parking was too high.

Noel Digan said: “There is never enough spaces at the hospital, and the prices that they’ve been charging they could afford to build another 600 spaces easily and still reduce the price.”

Several agreed with Pauline Bennetts saying she preferred to use the car park at the Redhill Golf Centre.

Chris Pittock said: “It’s easy. I always park at the golf club. There’s always space and it’s cheaper.”

The hospital’s car park is free for up to 30 minutes. It costs £2.20 for up to two hours and the price increases by approximately one pound per hour after that.

Mr Mackenzie said the aim of charging was not to make money but to provide good parking facilities.

He said all money made went straight back into travel facilities such as bus stops, CCTV, security guards, lighting, bike lockers and creating more parking spaces.

He added: “We just want to make enough to keep providing good car parking.

“We know if we don’t provide good car parking it adds to people’s stress.”

Mr Mackenzie also said that it was cheaper to park in the hospital car park for up to two hours than it was to park in the golf centre.

The hospital will take over management of the golf centre car park in October. Mr Mackenzie said all the prices would be the same from then on.

Vouchers are available for visitors and patients who discover they need to stay for long periods of time and there is no charge for patients having chemotherapy.