Parking for visitors and patients at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital will get a welcome boost by the end of the year, as work gets underway on a new four level car park on the footprint of the existing Lewsey Road car park.
The new car park will double the current provision for patients and visitors, and also provide more accessible parking as well as bicycle parking for patients, visitors and staff.
The new design will also improve the flow of cars, reducing queuing and congestion along Lewsey Road.
The existing main visitor and patient car park (on Lewsey Road, opposite the main entrance to the hospital), will be closing on Monday 13 July.
Alternative parking will be available on site, in Farringdon Fields, off Calnwood Road. The Trust is reallocating staff spaces for the period.
But overall numbers may be limited so the Trust is asking patients and visitors not to bring their car if they can possibly avoid it, but to be dropped off instead. A new temporary drop off point will be added on Lewsey Road.
It is hoped that the impact on patients will be kept to a minimum because of the reduced number of people coming to the hospital, due to the current restrictions on visiting, still in place to manage the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
Patients coming in for elective operations should be dropped off at the car park by the Short Stay Surgical Unit (SSSU), accessed from the St Mary’s car park.
David Carter, Chief Executive at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very pleased to get underway with this project. It will provide welcome additional parking for our patients and visitors and also help encourage more of our staff to run, ride a bike or walk to work.
“There will be some disruption for the next few months, but there will be great long-term benefits.
“In the short term, if patients and visitors can help out by avoiding driving to the hospital that would be fantastic.”
“I’d like to also thank staff for being so understanding about the need to accommodate more patients and visitors on site for this period.”