Northampton health centre with more than 30,000 patients left with just two parking spaces

A Northampton health centre with more than 30,000 registered patients has been left with just two parking spaces after a gym it shares its car park with has banned any non-members.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 7:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 7:37 am
Only two disabled spaces have been left for all 30,000 patients at Weston Favell Health Centre.

Exasperated patients at Weston Favell Health Centre, off Billing Brook Road, have been forced to risk fines on surrounding streets and the nearby shopping centre car park after Lings Forum Leisure Centre installed license plate recognition cameras on the shared lot.

Despite the centre using the car park for over 30 years, patients now have just two disabled parking spaces to choose from and face fines if they pull up under Lings' new cameras.

Lings, which is run by Trilogy Leisure, say their "responsibility is to our customers".

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The formerly-shared car park has been declared for "patrons only" of the nearby Lings Forum Leisure Centre.

It comes after another lot behind the centre with 50 spaces was closed and sold to developers in 2016.

Julie Martin, a practise manager for Favell Plus - one of the centre's three surgeries - said: "It's just not fair on patients. Staff have been helping dropped-off disabled patients out of cars while the drivers go find spaces.

"We need a solution. They could reopen the closed lot or work something out with Tescos to let patients park there. But it this can't go on."

Lings Forum has declared the car park for "patrons only" and can fine non-members cars detected by the new cameras.

A car park with some 50 spaces behind the centre was closed in 2016 and sold to developers. It has been left untouched since.

A spokesman for Trilogy Leisure said: "Due to an increase in the amount of non-centre users parking at the Lings Forum car park we have had to introduce the new parking eye system to ensure our customers can park their vehicles safely and securely when they visit us.

"We do appreciate that parking for nearby services is in high demand. Our responsibility is to our customers."

One woman who takes her 70-year-old mother to the centre for appointments said: "I don't think it's fair. I don't understand why it's [Lings Forum's] car park all of a sudden."