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Call to end bus chaos at Norfolk hospital

PUBLISHED: 15:47 30 September 2010

Bus campaigners have called on hospital bosses to try and ease the traffic chaos at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Norfolk Buswatch, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Transport Action Group, claims the entrance to the hospital currently leads to conflict between buses, cars, pedestrians and ambulances.

They say problems include allocated spaces for buses being too small and restrictive with cars and ambulances frequently blocking access.

A spokesman said changes needed to be made to encourage patients and visitors to arrive by more sustainable methods than the car. He said: “People are not going to be persuaded to leave their cars at home and use the bus when facilities for bus users are so chaotic and dysfunctional.”

It has emerged that hospital bosses met a year ago to discuss problems with the bus terminal point at the Plaza with a report suggesting that it was “not ideal” for the use of buses.

Minutes from the meeting, obtained by the Evening News, reveal that operator First was concerned with the amount of near misses and wanted railings or better signage in the plaza area.

Norfolk Buswatch added that despite the meeting nothing had been done to improve the Plaza which has had three accidents since 2001 including one fatality involving a bus.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “Access to the hospital is not an issue for bus users, who share access to the hospital with ambulance drivers and disabled drivers. Like everyone else in the public sector we do have financial savings to consider. We understand the bus company is keen to change the layout of the hospital plaza to better suit them but given our financial challenge this is not seen as a priority. However we are going to be installing railings to more clearly separate the disabled parking area in the middle of the plaza.”

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