TALKS are currently underway between hospital bosses and the owner of a neighbouring estate about expanding car parking capacity, according to a county councillor.

Andy Roberts, who represents Warndon, said the county council has been facilitating communication between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust and the landowner, which we understand is Berkeley Estates.

The councillor said he was first engaged in the process, which up until now has been kept tightly hush-hush, around three months ago, adding: “I am hoping they are reaching fruition now.”

“It’s something that’s being worked on to expand the capacity of the hospital car park.

“The talks are between the hospital and a neighbouring estate and are being facilitated by the county council.”

Councillor Roberts said it is hoped any expansion would alleviate congestion on nearby streets that are often used as overspill by hospital staff and those who work at adjoining King’s Court Business Park.

In fact, he said he has had “several reports” from people who allege on starting work at the office’s in the business park, they have been told there is no parking capacity left “but don’t worry, you can park outside neighbouring houses”.

He claims that only 75 per cent of the needed parking places were built as part of a green restriction during the planning process.

“It’s all terribly frustrating,” he added. “But I do appreciate it’s not just hospital staff [causing parking issues in Warndon Villages].”

Villages resident Mike O’Sullivan, a member of the parish’s neighbourhood plan steering group, said parking restrictions need to be introduced on effected roads, including Topham, Hoskyns and Fels Avenues.

He agreed that the congestion is not just caused by hospital staff and said the “worst days” are Thursdays, particularly 3pm.

Worcester News reported on traffic issues recently, on the hospital island – that’s caused by people constantly crossing the road at the lights to get back to their cars,” he added.

Worcestershire County Council’s highways department opening a public consultation in relation to restricting parking times in and around Topham Avenue earlier this year.

However, only received 19 formal approvals so scrapped the idea in July.

The council’s proposal was to prohibit on-street parking for one hour between 11am and midday on weekdays, which would be delineated by a single yellow line where there is no restriction.

Some residents had been complaining about the problems for years and claimed at the time the consultation process was a confusing mess or they didn’t receive any information at all.

“If people are being charged to park, they won’t bother,” said Mr O’Sullivan, in relation to the restriction.

Cllr Roberts went on to say, while the aim is to “tackle the roads where the parking is the worst”, if only provisions were brought in now it wouldn’t necessarily have the desired effect until the car park is expanded.

“People will just move off and park on another street – it needs an expansion to work.”

He said once the talks come to a close, if an agreement can be made, it would still have to go through the usual planning procedures so is still be some way off being brought in.

A Worcestershire County Council spokesman said: “We are supportive of efforts to improve parking at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.”

A spokesman for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust – based at the business park – said: “We have allocated parking for staff at both Kings Court 1 and Kings Court 2, plus a car park to the rear of the Elgar Unit.

“We have also subsidised the cost for staff using the Sixways Park and Ride, enabling all staff based at Kings Court to use the park and ride service free of charge.”

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust were unavailable for comment before we went to print.