Kettering General Hospital has released additional details to local people of its plans to improve car parking and traffic flow at the hospital.
At the moment – at busy times – patients and visitors sometimes need to queue to get a car parking space in the hospital’s two main car parks – car park A (near to the hospital) and car park B (nearer to the ambulance station).
Over the next few months – we are not giving precise timescales as the following plans all need to closely interlock – the Trust hopes to significantly improve car parking and traffic flow at KGH by:
* Decking Car park B – (As previously announced) we have a plan to put one-storey of decking onto car park B. This will enable some 240 extra vehicles to park there. The car park will have a new widened entrance (close to the ambulance station). Exactly how work will be phased is yet to be determined and this part of the project is subject to planning permission with Kettering Borough Council which has yet to be considered – hence no precise timescale is available yet, but this would be some months away.
* Current main road entrance to KGH (entrance 2) – will become ambulance/emergency vehicles only red route. This will be a clearly signed with a red tarmacked route running from Rothwell Road to A&E. It will be for exclusive ambulance/emergency vehicle use. This will improve safety by reducing the risk of emergency ambulances being caught up in queues.
* All other road traffic – will enter the site from the Telford Way/Rothwell Road roundabout, with a route via Haweswater Road and the internal KGH road which runs down to Warren Hill House (passing the ambulance station and car park B). Note all traffic currently leaves the site this way. With the new car parking arrangements detailed below we do not anticipate significant congestion on this road. Timescales are being finalised for this.
* Car Park A – Will become a Short Stay Car Park. It will have:
> 55-60 spaces for short stay use
> 45 disabled badge spaces – maximum of three hours stay. This will increase the number of spaces available for the disabled in this area.
> Two ‘drop and go’ zones for patients, taxis and non-emergency transport with free exit within 10-15 minutes (details to be confirmed)
> Two supermarket-style coin deposit wheelchair shelters at the corners of the car park nearest the hospital to help disabled/infirm patients to access the hospital
> The ramp down to outpatients (which already exists) will be covered to protect against the weather
> Another ramp will be put in place to assist patients heading to main reception
* Current parking spaces relocation – the changes to the A&E red route will mean the loss of the disabled and volunteer spaces currently on the slip road down to A&E/outpatients. However these will be more than offset by the extra spaces in Car Park A and also by four planned spaces for volunteer transport close to Warren Hill House.
* Non-emergency drop-off in front of outpatients – there will be a small drop off zone for non-urgent ambulance vehicles in the layby area close to the ramp that leads up to Car Park A. Other than emergency vehicles and approved Trust vehicles this will be the only vehicular access allowed to the front of outpatients/A&E and the main entrance (the current taxi and disabled spaces in front of the main entrance will be removed).
Kettering General Hospital’s Deputy Director of Facilities and Estates, Craig Catterick, said: “The changes should bring some significant improvements to car parking and traffic flow on the KGH site.
“The decking will mean significant extra spaces for patients and should reduce queueing.
“The changes to car park A should make it easier for disabled people and all those involved in short-stay drop-off at the hospital – and again this should help to reduce queuing on site.”
Project manager John Pratt said: “One of our key considerations in changing our traffic flow arrangements was to secure a quick route for ambulances on emergency calls to access our A&E department.
“At busy times we were very aware that queuing and potential break downs of vehicles could potentially block the ambulance run-down to A&E putting patients at risk.
“By introducing the red route – along with level crossing type flashing lights to halt vehicles accessing car park A when ambulances are coming onto site – we can ensure that patients with life-threatening conditions reach A&E as quickly as possible.”
What will we see first?
Over the next two weeks – weather dependent – the first signs of work going on will be:
* Re-creating/enlarging the old (ambulance station side) entrance to car park B.
* The establishment of a site compound in the layby behind the Social Club (this road will remain open).
* Double yellow lines in key areas being replaced by double red lines indicating no stopping or parking. These will be placed along the road that runs alongside Car Park B and on down to the roundabout adjacent to Glebe House and from there down to Rockingham Wing.
Other work will follow as details of the new arrangements are finalised.