New board of residents to tackle transport
Robyn Rosen HEALTH bosses at the new Hornsey health centre will set up a board of residents and patients to discuss transport concerns, Broadway can reveal. Last week we reported how a new survey shows that almost half of people in the west of the borough
HEALTH bosses at the new Hornsey health centre will set up a board of residents and patients to discuss transport concerns, Broadway can reveal.
Last week we reported how a new survey shows that almost half of people in the west of the borough will be unable to travel easily to the new multimillion pound centre in Park Road.
This week, a spokesman for NHS Haringey announced that a user board will be set up in the autumn to express concerns and provide advice and feedback on how the centre should be run when it begins to offer GP services in July.
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"We have a duty to involve and engage with local people on a regular basis, not just when there is a big change," he said. "The new board will discuss issues, new developments and proposals and how current services work.
"If transport and parking is an issue, as it appears to be, we want local people to have their say."
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As well as transport concerns, residents and patients are split over parking at the site after health bosses announced there would be 106 free parking places for staff and patients.
Some claim the trust should charge for parking to prevent congestion and pollution.
Chris Barker, of the Sustainable Haringey network, said: "One of the problems with Park Road is that it's very congested and it will be disastrous if many more cars are attracted to it.
"I'm alarmed by how many car spaces there are. It would be a good idea to charge, to discourage people from parking there. It's the policy of Haringey to reduce the number of staff car users and I think the PCT should do that as well."
But other residents disagree, claiming more spaces should be available to those who are patients or blue badge holders.
Ralph Crisp, of Hornsey Lane Gardens, said: "There will be many patients with disabilities and public transport is not an option."
James Slater, director of primary care at NHS Haringey, said: "We have made the decision not to charge initially but will monitor the situation closely and if we find evidence of abuse we will change that."
Meanwhile, a campaign has been launched to create a new bus service to improve transport links to the site.
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, is asking for a dedicated bus service connecting western Haringey to the new hospital in her 'Back the Bus' campaign.
"It is absolutely fantastic that we finally have a new health facility after campaigning for so long with local residents to make it happen," she said. "But what's the point if it is so difficult for people to get there?"
The NHS Haringey spokesman expressed full support for the campaign and said: "We welcome anyone's involvement in pushing for better transport."
When asked why these transport issues had not been looked at earlier he said: "We have been in touch with TfL over the years. Anyone in Muswell Hill will tell you it's easier getting to the Hornsey site than the Whittington hospital.