Southmead Hospital 'still short of 400 parking spaces'

Southmead Hospital Bristol
Image caption Southmead Hospital is meant to provide 2,700 spaces in total

Bristol's Southmead Hospital has nearly 400 fewer parking spaces than outlined in its planning consent, despite opening two years ago, a report says.

Bristol City Council's report said the hospital would provide 2,700 spaces, but is at least 387 spaces short.

Director of facilities, Simon Wood admitted: "We're still on track to provide the 2700 spaces, we're about eight months late on that."

Parking shortages have clogged up local streets since Southmead opened in 2014.

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Media captionResidents' views on parking near Southmead Hospital

Last year, in response to the problem, emergency services highlighted the issue of people parking inconsiderately or illegally near the hospital.

Mr Wood said delays on the spaces - for staff and visitors - were due to other building work taking place on the site which took longer than expected because of the requirement to remove asbestos from old buildings.

"It was always going to be a phased arrangement," he explained.

"For the past nine years we were planning on other services, like extra buses and lots of extra cycling facilities."

Image caption Last year, emergency services handed out leaflets and in some cases parking tickets to those parking illegally or inconsiderately

Parking permits have also been brought in as a way of reducing the number of cars parked in residential areas.

Mr Wood said that because staff are also get charged for using the car parks, they have been encouraged to cycle in, or use local buses.

"Since 2013, staff cycling rates have gone up from eight percent to nearly 20 percent.

"It's not acceptable to just keep driving the number of cars up by providing more and more parking spaces," added Mr Wood.

The hospital says it plans to provide the remaining spaces by Autumn 2017.

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