Wigan hospital bosses considering locations for two new multi-storey car parks

The car park on Freckleton Street
The car park on Freckleton Street

Hospital chiefs have confirmed they are looking at proposed locations for two multi-storey car parks to boost spaces for patients and visitors.

The Wigan Observer reported in August that bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust were drawing up plans for extra car parking on the busy Wigan Infirmary site.

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They have now confirmed that they are looking at creating two multi-level car parks, one on-site and the other off-site.

It is believed Freckleton Street is one of the car parks under consideration for the off-site multi-storey.

Mary Fleming, chief operating officer at the trust, said: “We have moved staff off the hospital site to create spaces. We have a very strict parking policy on site that restricts staff to provide as much car parking as we can for patients, but we recognise the demand for hospital services is going up.

“In response to that demand we are expanding our bed base and we are providing more support services and we have to be mindful that we have to provide the associated parking as well.

“The worst thing is having a relative being admitted to hospital and their relatives aren’t able to park or access them.”

Planning applications have not yet been submitted for the car parks, but trust chiefs have consulted with Wigan Council’s planning department on the idea.

It follows the submission of a separate application seeking permission to build a new ward on the site of former pathology laboratories, which were demolished last year.

A decision on that is expected to be made in coming weeks.

The local authority told the trust it could not expand unless more car parking was provided.

New parking spaces will be created by adding new levels either above or under the ground.

The trust’s estates and facilities team is currently drawing up the plans, with no timescale yet in place for when the planning application will be submitted and construction work started.

Ms Fleming says they will be sympathetic to people living in the surrounding area as the plans are developed.

Car parking has long been a major headache for trust bosses, patients and visitors as the hospital has expanded, despite efforts to address it.

Staff now park in Wigan town centre and people have been encouraged to travel to the hospital by public transport, but more car parking spaces are still needed.