L&D Hospital tells staff ‘walk home or get a bus’

Luton & Dunstable Hospital
Luton & Dunstable Hospital

Hardworking staff who live locally to Luton & Dunstable Hospital will have their parking provision cut.

In an email to staff members, Luton & Dunstable Hospital stated that from June 5 parking provision will be cut for those who live within 20 minutes walking distance of the hospital.

It also affects those who live within 30 minutes by public transport.

Workers have branded the move “ludicrous”.

One woman told the Herald & Post: “I work 12 hour shifts and at odd times. We don’t get many privileges and we just feel we’re being robbed.

“There’s nowhere else to park around the hospital, as we all know.

“And after a long shift, when you’ve got children to get up for school in the morning, a long walk in the dark is not what you need.”

According to the woman, the move affects a number of parents and staff members who are pregnant.

A spokesman for the hospital said: “In order to respond to the rising number of complaints from patients and visitors about the lack of parking at the hospital, we have taken the difficult decision to turn some existing staff parking into spaces for visitors.

“ With fewer spaces available for staff we have had no alternative but to bring in new criteria for staff who are eligible to park on site.

“Staff who live within a 20 minute journey time on foot, those who have a 30 minute journey time by public transport (and live, for example within 400m of a bus stop), will no longer be eligible for a parking permit unless they meet certain criteria.

“The criteria include if they have a Blue Badge, they work shifts starting before 7am and finishing after 7pm, they are on call, they need their cars to travel elsewhere in the community, or have specific caring duties – for example children under 12.

“We have consulted with staff groups and aim to introduce the new scheme on 5 June.

“Over the next three months we will be holding a series of ‘travel option clinics’ when local travel experts will be on hand to help staff who will no longer be eligible to park, to choose an alternative form of travel.

“The hospital is working with local public transport providers to ensure discounts and incentives are available for staff.”

But the woman added: “It took me a long time to get my driving licence in order to make my life easier – not to be told to walk home or get a bus!”