Extra staff parking at Conquest Hospital

Conquest Hospital car park
Conquest Hospital car park

STAFF parking at the Conquest Hospital is set to increase by more than 10 per cent, with the addition of 88 new spaces.

Plans for two new car parking areas within the main site were given unanimous approval by Hastings Borough Council planning committee on Wednesday.

There are currently 743 parking spaces for Conquest staff, which includes the main site and the overspill car park at the Hastings Centre, across the road from the main site.

It is hoped that the provision of additional spaces will go towards reducing the pressure on residential roads surrounding the hospital.

Councillor Peter Pragnell, who represents Ashdown and Conquest Ward, said that much of his work dealt with the problem of overflow parking from the Conquest Hospital extending across the ward.

“From my point of view this is unalloyed good news,” he said. “I am utterly delighted.”

The areas to be developed as car parks lie to the north and south of the main hospital buildings, with 44 spaces allocated to each one.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner Nick Perry said: “If this is a genuine move to make life better for staff then that is great.

“But it is only going to be taken up by staff if it is a fair deal in terms of price.”

Parking at the Conquest has long been a controversial issue not only for hospital staff, but also for patients and visitors.

Only last year, the newly installed pay-on-exit scheme initially caused considerable problems for visitors, with the ticket machines being set too far back from the kerb to reach from a car window.

April of this year saw an increase in parking charges for patients and visitors, with the cost of three hours of parking going up by 60 pence to £3.90.