The new buildings and updated facilities currently being completed at Teddington Memorial Hospital will also be unveiled alongside a new parking scheme. The main aim of these charges will be to discourage parking by visitors not attending the hospital who tend to park on the site due to the proximity to the high street and the areas general lack of sizeable public car parks.
Charges will be up to 50p/hour depending on the vehicles emission rating up to a maximum of approx £3 per visit (with concessions for extra waiting time in the hospital waiting room). As with any parking issue near the town centre, opinion is divided for and against the scheme – it is one that planners are trying to balance between the necessity of hospital visitors and staff versus keeping away unauthorised parkers.
An earlier proposal to keep parking free but introduce a barrier & token scheme was scrapped because of staff resource, emergency vehicle access and generally traffic issues this would have caused on the busy Hampton Road.
It is also a proposal to help the Green Travel Plan designed to benefit employees and the community that surrounds businesses by reducing parking overspill – relieving parking congestion in general, improving public transport connections and helping the environment through encouraging public transport and reducing single-occupancy car journeys.
Funds received from the scheme will be used to manage the car park and anything above this will go towards funding further green travel initiatives. The 65% of hospital staff who drive to work will be issued a 4 hour permit but most staff spend a large amount of their time visiting patients elsewhere.
See full letter sent to neighbouring roads for more details.
[Update 31st August] Richmond and Twickenham Times article on the reaction to the parking fees.