A HOSPITAL’s park and ride has been granted a second extension - as health board chiefs look at what impact halting the service would have on patients.

The popular service - which takes patients from the former Hotpoint factory site in Bodelwyddan to Glan Clwyd Hospital - will now remain in service until March 31 2020.

In June, the Journal reported the Park and Ride would be extended until October 31 following an agreement with Arriva. It was originally due to stop running on June 30.

The service, used by thousand of patients, was introduced by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) in 2014 to help ease parking pressures and traffic congestion at the hospital.

A spokesperson for BCUHB said: “The service was established on a temporary basis to offset the loss of parking spaces on the hospital site while the redevelopment work took place. We recognise that it has been well used and valued by staff and patients.

“The executive team agreed that the Park and Ride arrangements will be extended until March 31 2020 while we strengthen our work to clearly evidence the consequences of the closure of the service on those who use it.

“This includes looking to improve the provision of patient and visitor car parking on the Ysbyty Glan Clwyd site.“

Vale of Clwyd Assembly Member Ann Jones, and Clwyd West AM Darren Millar, have been among those leading the calls to keep the service going.

Ms Jones said: “I will be meeting shortly with the health board to discuss the long term approach to retaining this excellent and valued service.”

Mr Millar said: “While I’m pleased that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has bowed to local pressure and extended this popular service, I will not rest until it becomes a permanent feature of parking arrangements for staff, patients and visitors. There simply isn’t enough parking at Glan Clwyd Hospital to cope with the extra spaces which would be needed if the park and ride was withdrawn.”

Earlier this year, Cllr Gareth Davies launched a petition to try and keep the service in place.

He said: “I got a lot of responses. Efforts must continue by BCUHB and Welsh Government to look at long term solutions to the issue as many rely on the service on a regular basis.

“I’ll be eager to see the service remain permanent and would urge the Health Board and Welsh Government to explore a business case for a multi storey car park at the hospital to provide a sustainable on site facility that can cater for the needs of staff, patients, and visitors.”