Nadine Dorries MP debated the “dangerous” parking problem outside Ampthill’s GP surgeries during parliament today.
As revealed by the T&C in February, overcrowding in Houghton Close has resulted in incidents of road rage, near misses, vehicles mounting the pavement, and a car ploughing through the doors of a GP surgery.
Today, Alistair Burt, MP for North-East Bedfordshire and minister at the department for health, announced that NHS England has pledged to meet 25 per cent of the costs of any upgrade, in addition to the potential S106 money.
Ms Dorries said: “Every time I go to see my doctor in Ampthill I am reminded that this serious situation is getting worse and I want to act before somebody gets hurt.
“I will not let civil servants pass the buck until a preventable accident forces them to do something.
“The GP surgeries in Ampthill need improved parking facilities so that our healthcare system does not force patients to sacrifice their safety.”
The Mid Beds MP will now work with the local practices to prepare a bid to access some of the £750 million primary care infrastructure fund and will chair a joint meeting between NHS England, Ministers, the practice managers and other stakeholders in order to reach a solution acceptable to Ampthill residents and patients.
She will also present a petition she launched with staff from Oliver Street, Houghton Close and Greensand surgeries, which has been signed by thousands of concerned residents.
The problems began when the surgeries, which share the land with an ambulance station, children’s nursery and daycare centre, welcomed 20 additional NHS staff.
With enough parking in the area for just 20 vehicles, the relocation at the beginning of the year caused the situation to spiral out of control.
Ms Dorries says she is keen to offer potential solutions, such as NHS England releasing some of the Section 106 money received from housing developers for this kind of infrastructure upgrade.