Visitors to the Royal Blackburn Hospital should benefit from a new car park set to be built.
Planning approval has been given for the construction of a new 517 space car park at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital to improve facilities for patients, visitors and staff, and reduce traffic congestion on surrounding roads.
The application was partly considered due to the hospital’s large catchment area, with 72% of patients attending from outside Blackburn with Darwen, and the recent reduction in bus services travelling to and from the hospital at peak times.
A joint partnership between Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust will see a single level car park offering 467 standard spaces, 50 larger spaces and 20 motorcycle spaces built on unused land off Old Bank Lane.
Trust chief executive Kevin McGee said: “We are delighted at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s decision to approve plans to extend the hospital’s car park facilities by an extra 500 spaces.
“Our patients and visitors frequently tell us that while they are happy with their hospital care, there are not enough car parking spaces on our site. Car parking provision is also a major issue for current and prospective Trust staff.”
The plans were approved by planning officers this week, with construction of the new car park expected to begin within a matter of weeks. If everything goes to plan, work will be completed by summer 2018.
Entry and exit to the new car park will be via Old Bank Lane, with improvements being made to the junction at Shadsworth Road and Old Bank Lane to handle extra traffic.
“We have worked closely with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to develop these plans that will significantly improve the experience for everyone visiting the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital by car,” said James Maguire, Trust general manager for Estates and Facilities.
“While we fully acknowledge our responsibility to have a sustainable travel plan, we expect that increasing car park capacity will significantly reduce the current disruption on Haslingden Road caused by insufficient visitor parking.”
To link the new car park to the hospital site and the neighbouring Queens Park and Haslingden Road areas, a pedestrian footpath will be built around the southern perimeter, complete with illuminated bollards.
A number of trees will be re-planted to enable the new car park to be located directly adjacent to existing hospital visitor car parks.