A PARK and ride service which takes patients to and from Glan Clwyd Hospital is expected to cease at the end of June.

The scheme, which operates from the former Hotpoint factory site in Bodelwyddan, was introduced to help ease parking pressures and traffic congestion while redevelopment work went on at the hospital.

Since its establishment in 2014, thousands of patients have taken advantage of the service.

Rhyl Journal:

The scheme is aimed mainly at staff but it is also popular with patients. Picture: Geoff Abbott

In January, the Journal reported that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) was reviewing the service to see if it could carry on.

Patients raised fears over the future of the service as the seven-year redevelopment project was coming to an end.

A spokesperson from BCUHB, who was keen to stress that the service was always meant to temporary, said: “The Park and Ride Service was introduced as a way of easing parking pressures at Glan Clwyd Hospital while spaces were lost due to the redevelopment project.

Rhyl Journal:

Health bosses said the service will be extended until June. Picture: Geoff Abbott

“This service has been extended for an additional three months until the end of June 2019. This is to accommodate the ongoing car park upgrade works that is currently being carried out at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

“An additional 167 car park spaces will be available on the hospital site when the construction work is complete.”

Ann Jones, AM for Vale of Clwyd, said she will be seeking “urgent discussions” with BCUHB to ensure the service is not lost.

Rhyl Journal:

Ann Jones said that she is disappointed that the health board have not communicated any decision to her as yet

She added: “The park and ride scheme has alleviated many of the frustrations over parking for patients and visitors and to me is still a vital part of the hospital and an effective way of dealing with issues around parking on the site.

“As I was instrumental in proposing that a park and ride scheme be an option, and since hearing of the scheme has at been at risk, I have been in discussions with the health board and to date have not received any confirmation as to the future of the scheme.

“If, however, the board are seriously intending to cease the scheme I will be seeking urgent discussions with them to explore all options to ensure this essential service is not lost.”

Rhyl Journal:

Glan Clwyd Hospital's park and ride. Picture: Geoff Abbott

“No patient should have to attend Glan Clwyd in a state of stress due to a lack of parking.

“I am disappointed the board have not communicated any decision to me as yet.”

Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West, said: “It is clear from the many messages from my constituents that the Glan Clwyd park and ride facility is convenient and valued by many patients and staff members. 

Rhyl Journal:

Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West

“While the health board has worked hard to identify and create extra parking spaces at the hospital I am not convinced that this is enough to meet demand for parking at peak periods. 

“The last thing you need when you or a loved one are poorly is a struggle to find a parking space so I hope that the health board will keep this decision under review and take immediate action to reinstate the park and ride service if parking chaos returns to the site after it is scrapped."