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Old labs make way for new car park at Wigan Infirmary

The labs being demolished at Wigan Infirmary
The labs being demolished at Wigan Infirmary

They were never architectural wonders, most Wigan Infirmary visitors probably never noticed them, and many will welcome the reason for their demise.

For the hospital’s old pathology labs are currently being razed to make way for more parking spaces.

The prefabricated, single-storey buildings at the top end of the Wigan Lane site were vacated by biomedical scientists and technicians a couple of years ago as they decamped to new facilities further down the campus.

Thereafter they stood unloved and unoccupied until their fate was sealed by a demolition team.

And once the rubble has been cleared 72 new places for vehicles will be created and ready for use by next month, adding to the 20 spaces already recently made outside the Christopher Home building.

Parking issues have long been a problem at the hospital. It has always been a busy site but has gradually become more congested as facilities there increased (for example when the maternity unit moved over from Billinge) and more and more service users arrived by car.

Ian Bradley, head of capital and property services for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The trust is obviously very pleased to be able to offer our patients and visitors increased access to car parking spaces.

“We are always keen to look at further opportunities to improve parking and accessibility and, with the demolition of the old pathology lab, WWL has been able to create a new car park and gain an extra 70 spaces.

“There will obviously be some temporary disruption and loss of spaces whilst the works are carried out but we hope that people will bear with us during this time.”

In recognition that some patients have to attend hospital regularly, which can be costly, WWL has developed a number of “sympathetic concessions” including: any oncology patient who attends for frequent regular treatment; any patients attending clinics for a minimum of one day a week for an extensive period; visitors of patients hospitalised for more than two weeks will be offered free parking for the remainder of the patient’s stay from day 15 onwards.

Patients attending the Cancer Care Centre also benefit from dedicated parking spaces.