Park and ride from Fontwell part of green travel plan for hospital staff

Western Sussex Hospitals Trust is introducing park and ride for hospital staff
Western Sussex Hospitals Trust is introducing park and ride for hospital staff

A new Green Travel Plan being launched by Western Sussex Hospitals aims to reduce traffic congestion in Chichester, as well as help the trust to recruit more staff to join its outstanding-rated organisation.

The acute hospital trust, which employs nearly 10,000, is introducing new out-of-town park and ride facilities for St Richard’s Hospital staff at Fontwell Park from September 24.

The organisation’s Green Travel Plan also invests in improved facilities for walkers, cyclists and bikers, including CCTV security, lockers and showers In addition, the trust is joining the easit Network, providing staff with 15 per cent off rail travel and discounted bus fares.

Chief executive Marianne Griffiths said: “Our new Green Travel Plan is the accumulation of more than 18 months’ work, drawing on staff surveys, workshops and corporate best-practice to reduce the environmental impact of staff travel and the adverse effects of parking pressures on staff, our ability to recruit and, ultimately, patient experience.

“With the continued growth and demand on our services, it has become increasingly difficult to accommodate the needs of staff accessing and leaving our hospital sites. However, these improved facilities and services will remove hundreds of vehicle journeys every day into the centre of Chichester and make it much easier for colleagues to choose alternative means of transport.”

The plan will also operate at Worthing and Shoreham.

The staff minibus service will run from 6.30am to 11pm, Monday to Friday, and will therefore also help reduce single occupancy car movements during the day along the congested A27 as staff travel between hospitals for different clinics, meetings and duties.

The additional cost of providing these services is being part-funded by an increase to the cost of onsite staff parking permits.

The trust’s director of estates and facilities, David Jones said: “We have not increased the cost of staff parking for more than ten years but we know the staff car parks on our constrained town centre sites are over-subscribed. These changes help us to invest in alternative solutions to onsite parking which prove better for the environment and the health and wellbeing of our staff.”

Additionally, the Green Travel Plan is designed to help the trust boost recruitment and attract more people to work for the organisation.

Mr Jones added: “As we grow it becomes more difficult to recruit and retain staff if they are frustrated when travelling to and from work. However, by providing better facilities and new alternatives we are confident more people will choose to join our outstanding trust.”

For more information about Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and its latest job opportunities, please visit www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/jobs