Plans halted for bay

The University Hospital of Hartlepool
The University Hospital of Hartlepool

COUNCILLORS have rejected a request for a loading bay on a busy road next to the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council rejected the application submitted via a petition signed by 29 residents of Kensington Court and 28 taxi drivers for the loading bay to be installed in Holdforth Road.

The residents and taxi drivers argued it would mean they would not have fear of receiving a penalty charge notice for breaking parking restrictions currently in place in Holdforth Road.

But councillors rejected the plans over a number of concerns around safety and access issues with the Hartlepool hospital site, while it was also noted by the committee that all three emergency services had objected to the loading bay proposal.

The council’s neighbourhood services committee met to discuss the proposal, which suggested creating a loading bay would overcome the access difficulties providing a standard 20-minute stay for loading purposes.

But a number of highways concerns were raised including access issues by the ambulance service to and from the hospital when parking was previously allowed at this location.

Officers said it would also be difficult to safely locate a loading bay due to the “detrimental impact” on motorists and pedestrians, while existing legislation already allowed passengers to get in and out of vehicles.

Alastair Smith, the council’s assistant director or neighbourhoods, said: “There is only a limited amount of space between the Kensington Court vehicular access and Holdforth Road bus stop.

“Locating the loading bay at the most convenient space for residents would raise the previous road safety concerns as both visibility and vehicular access could be compromised.

“The loading bay would also obstruct an existing pedestrian dropped crossing point.”

Mr Smith added that it is likely that any formal request to create parking at this location, which may compromise access, would also be opposed by the emergency services.

Councillors did debate holding a site visit but it was eventually decided one was not needed and a decision was taken, with members voting against the plans.