South East Wales

University Hospital of Wales 'rat run' car warning

UHW

Health bosses at Wales' largest hospital say thousands of motorists are using the site as a daily 'rat-run'.

Officials say nearly 8,000 cars appear to be cutting through the grounds of the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff every morning.

A report to the hospital's health board warned it was causing "gridlock", with delays for patients and staff.

It is now reviewing routes in and out of the hospital, as well new parking enforcements plans.

"The UHW site is a small community and we see thousands of people using it every day, and managing this city centre location in Cardiff will remain a challenge," said board estates director Geoff Walsh.

Proposals under investigation include installing automated bollards on the Gabalfa Gateway at the hospital, stopping an estimated 2,500 vehicles a day from cutting through the site.

The entrance to King George V Drive could also be closed to private vehicles, while access to the emergency unit could be limited to ambulances and public transport.

A report to the health board warned that a review of cars using the site found that "commuters were treating the site as a general extension to the local road network and were ignoring signs that the site was private".

Image copyright CVUHB

In addition to access changes, the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has re-appointed the firm Indigo to manage its car parking at UHW, including issuing parking charge notices.

The board said it will mean "more rigorous enforcement of parking restrictions".

However, the charges for breaking parking rules on the site will be lowered to £20, or £10 if paid within two weeks.

But even then, the board said it recognised that car parking demands at the hospital will always exceed the number of spaces available.

"We will need to consider parking requirements together with a more robust sustainable travel plan," added Mr Walsh.

"The health board continues to work closely with our bus operators and other relevant stakeholders to improve transport links to the UHW site."

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