Desperately-needed extra car parking spaces are being provided at Airedale Hospital.

A new car parking area is being proposed for staff to free up space in the visitors’ car parks.

Work started this week to prepare for the extra 79 spaces – between the former nurses accommodation – for staff only, and an additional 80 spaces are planned to be reserved for the public on the West car park.

As a result of the building work to create a new Emergency Department on the site, a small car park used by A&E staff and parking space on the helipad next to it has been lost. There has also been a temporary loss of a few spaces in the north east staff car park due to the construction work.

As part of the planning permission for the new Emergency Department, The Trust had to install extra 15 parking spaces near it’s education centre, but estate managers have decided that these are insufficient.

David Moss, assistant director of estates and facilities at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have received more complaints in recent months from people struggling to park at the hospital and so have decided that we need to urgently do something about it. We are currently in discussions with Bradford planning officers.

“Patients are becoming distressed and agitated as a result of not being able to find a parking place and, in some cases, being late for appointments or going home. It is having a significantly detrimental effect on the patient journey. Our plans will mean that there are more car parking spaces at Airedale Hospital than ever before.”

The construction work is expected to take around three weeks to complete and the hard-core parking area will be open following permission from planners. There are also plans to create an extra 15 spaces near the education centre in March. There will be a review of parking on the hospital site in 12 months’ time.