East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) has announced an important change to patient and visitor car parking.
On Tuesday 1 May, a new 500-space car park specially built to improve facilities for patients, visitors and staff at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital (RBTH).
Situated on Old Bank Lane next to the hospital, the new car park aims to reduce traffic congestion in the surrounding area, especially Haslingden Road.
Half of the car park spaces will be available on 1 May with the remaining 250 spaces scheduled to be ready before the end of May.
A joint partnership between ELHT and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (BwDBC), the new facility will support patients and visitors to Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and those employed in the surrounding businesses.
Traffic congestion caused by cars waiting to enter the existing hospital car park is a cause of blockages on the highway network with traffic often queuing back towards Junction 5 of the M65.
The Trust estimates there is an under provision of car parking spaces at RBTH to accommodate the needs of patients and visitors. With the hospital delivering more NHS services than ever before, this places a greater strain on parking which this new facility will help to alleviate.
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Working in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, we are delighted to open a new car park that will significantly improve the experience for everyone coming to the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.”
“Patients and visitors arriving by car will benefit from a greater number of parking spaces, while local residents and anyone travelling past the hospital will welcome the reduced congestion along Haslingden Road.”
The Trust also wishes to remind patients, visitors and staff that, starting Tuesday 1 May, car park charges for Blue Badge holders will be introduced at our five hospitals.
The new Blue Badge charging system – similar to other hospitals in the region - will apply at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, Pendle Community Hospital, Clitheroe Community Hospital, Accrington Victoria Community Hospital and Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.
“The decision to implement this change was not taken lightly and means that, from 1 May, all patients and visitors – including Blue Badge holders - will pay the same rate,” said ELHT Divisional General Manager for Estates and Facilities, James Maguire.
Any additional income from Blue Badge parking will be reinvested by the Trust to improve patient care.