A NEW slip road is needed to stop “horrendous” traffic jams like the one that lasted for hours at Royal Bournemouth Hospital last week.
That is the view of deputy mayor Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts, who says there are problems every evening with cars coming out of the hospital.
Hundreds of drivers sat stationary in their cars for hours last week, when temporary traffic lights at gas works on Christchurch’s Barrack Road combined with other factors to bring the area to a standstill.
Tony Spotswood, chief executive of Royal Bournemouth Hospital, has called the jams “unacceptable” and said there is an urgent need for a new link from the hospital to the Wessex Way.
Cllr Stanley-Watts, who works at the hospital, said: “The traffic situation in the hospital area is getting worse.
“It had been horrendous building up to that. Every night there’s been a traffic standstill. It was a lot worse that Tuesday evening.”
He said there had been poor communications between councils about the roadworks going on.
He said having the hospital, law courts and a major employer, Rias, at the same site had put great pressure on the road network.
Cllr Stanley-Watts said the council had had meetings with the hospital and he believed they should explore the viability of a link road between the dual carriageway and the hospital.
“I think it’s very important to have a slip road near it,” he said.
He said road traffic had to be addressed in any improvement measures as well as cycling and public transport.
Cllr Michael Filer, Bournemouth council’s cabinet member for transport, said in a statement: “We are always looking at ways to make travelling easier and less stressful for motorists across Bournemouth.
“The council have recently been involved in preliminary discussions with Bournemouth Hospital over future road proposals that may change the access arrangements into the hospital site.”
At the height of last week’s jams, some visitors and staff at the hospital were in stationary traffic for three-and-a-half hours. Some abandoned their cars and found other ways home.
The delays blocked the route for ambulances and led to blood samples being delayed on their way for analysis.