University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), which includes Bristol Royal Infirmary, has proposed pulling down the flats on Eugene Street to build a car park. In their planning application (18/04977/P) they propose to substantially increase the amount of car parking on the UHB site.
Access to the BRI and the other UHB hospitals is poor, despite its location in the city centre. It is badly served by buses, and for many people, the 450m walk over steep slopes from city centre bus stops is difficult. This could have been an opportunity to provide a modern, sustainable transport interchange. Unfortunately we believe the current proposal will only worsen traffic and pollution problems in the city centre by providing an excessive number of new car parking spaces.
BWA has submitted an objection (18_04977_P-BWA-response.pdf) to the proposal. Whilst we accept the need to provide for patients who are frail and unwell, the proposed car park leaves them with a long, difficult and unpleasant route to access the hospital itself. Based on the conflicting evidence presented, we do not accept the proposition that an additional 628 car parking spaces are required to meet the needs of patients.
Bristol Walking Alliance believes that, as far as possible, travel to the hospital should be made more sustainable and convenient by:
- Enhancing the pedestrian environment around and within the hospital.
- Providing a transport interchange where pedestrians can catch buses, taxis and future on-demand transport services in a sheltered environment that has direct, sheltered, level access to the hospital buildings.
- Offering more frequent modern shuttle buses to and from key bus stops and railway stations, extending coverage to evening and weekend visiting hours.
- Limiting car parking to those with most need.