New patient/visitor car park and travel hub opening marks start of Luton & Dunstable Hospital £150m redevelopment
278 parking spaces available, while new layout significantly improves access and will reduce Lewsey Road congestion
A new patient/visitor car park and travel hub at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital was officially opened earlier today (May 19) - and is the first phase of £150m five-year redevelopment scheme.
Simon Linnett and David Carter, the chair and chief executive of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust respectively, were joined by the Luton Council leader Hazel Simmons for the launch.
The car park wlll provide 278 car parking spaces, with the new layout significantly improving access and reducing Lewsey Road congestion.
The staff travel hub features secure cycle storage and showers to help encourage employees to run and cycle to, from and during work.
Mr Carter said: “We’re delighted to officially open this much-needed car park and travel hub, which will provide convenient access for our patients and visitors, as well as excellent facilities for colleagues.
“It’s very exciting because this marks the start of a complete transformation of the hospital which will be taking place in the coming years. The improvements to our Emergency Department are already underway, due for completion next year, and in the next year we will be starting building our new acute services block.
“This will transform our maternity, theatres, critical care and neonatal services. Our new facilities will be cutting edge – and an inspiring place for colleagues to deliver outstanding care to patients.”
Mr Linnett added: “We are delighted to provide such a convenient facility – right opposite the main entrance, which we know will make life easier for patients, carers and relatives.
“In addition, I am also particularly pleased about the facilities for staff. I am passionate about how we can improve our sustainability, so facilities which help colleagues to walk, run or cycle to work are greatly welcome.
“It’s also great for their mental health and wellbeing to help build more activity into their lives, so that’s positive too.”
David Hartshorne, director of redevelopment, said: “Our redevelopment project will see much of the site transformed over the next few years, for the huge benefit of patients and staff.
“But, it will take time and sometimes, inconvenience, while we get there. We hope our patients and visitors will bear with us.
“I’d encourage people to keep checking in on our progress, and be aware there might be disruption, for which we apologise, while we are making these improvements.”
He added: “I’d like to thank the project team for their work. I’d like to thank our neighbours on Lewsey Road for their support and understanding, and also thank the council for all their support.”
Cllr Simmons was given the duty of formally cutting the ribbon. She said: “I am delighted to be able to formally open this facility. I know it will hugely benefit patients, carers and relatives, as well the staff working here at the L&D.
“Making the hospital accessible to our whole community is very important, so I am delighted to be here to represent the council at this important step forward in the redevelopment. I look forward to further improvements to come.”
The entire car park project cost a total of £5m and was delivered by specialist firm Huber. The main car park superstructure uses a modular steel frame construction, meaning the entire project took just six months.