Conservative councillors in Bath have put forward proposals which would enable the creation of more on-site parking at the Royal United Hospital.
At the Council’s budget-setting meeting on Tuesday, Conservatives successfully tabled a proposal which would see Bath and North East Somerset Council provide financial support to the hospital in the form of a loan or other investment to enable more car parking be created at the RUH site.
Any proposals would have to be the subject of detailed discussions between the Council and the hospital, and would only be possible if the RUH were willing to consider the idea.
However, Conservatives have said that such a move, if it went ahead, could help resolve long-standing problems with staff and visitors to the hospital needing to park on nearby residential streets.
Whilst it is understood that the RUH is already drawing-up plans to create several hundred new parking spaces at the site, Conservatives have warned that the majority of these are likely to be taken up by additional staff and patients resulting from the hospital’s merger with Bath’s Mineral Water Hospital.
Conservatives have therefore said they would like to see the Council work with the RUH on creating more parking spaces than is currently being planned.
Speaking after the meeting, Weston Conservative Councillor Colin Barrett, who spoke in support of the proposal at the Council meeting, commented: “The lack of parking capacity at the RUH causes huge problems on many residential street in both Weston and Newbridge, and nothing meaningful has been done about this for far too long.
“We need the Council and the hospital to work together on resolving this issue, and one major way to do this would be to create more on-site parking at the hospital.
“Creating an underground car park is something I have advocated in the past and would like to see explored.
“If our idea were taken forward this could make a real difference to improving the lives of residents in the Newbridge and Weston area.”
Councillor Charles Gerrish, Conservative shadow Resources spokesman, added: “Obviously any proposal like this would need the agreement of both parties and would have to be subject to due diligence procedures to ensure value for taxpayers.
“However, if the RUH does show an interest in the idea, this could both help the hospital with its development plans and help resolve the parking problems for the local community.”