A LACK of parking provision will cause a "nightmare" for patients when the revamped Purley War Memorial Hospital opens this summer, a residents' leader fears.
Just 40 spaces have been included in the plans, following lobbying by the Croydon Council's previous chief exec, despite an estimated 3,000 visitors a week.
At the moment, the 40 spaces included in the planning permission will be reserved for patients and ambulances – staff will have to park elsewhere in the town during their shifts.
The Purley and District Residents' Association has been working to come up with several parking options after discovering the hospital and the council have made no plans to solve the problem.
Tarsem Flora, a local architect and the group's chairman, said: "We are looking at double the number of visitors to the hospital but no parking provision. It will be a nightmare."
He has drawn up three options – using space at the Purley Resource Centre, developing the green space behind the hospital or reserving spaces at the public multi-storey car park in the town centre.
Mr Flora added: "We have been trying to organise a meeting with the council since last year and have written them a letter. However, this has been a very slow process and the council is yet to agree a date.
"It is a top priority for the town as there is no infrastructure in place to support the increased number of people who will visit the new hospital.
"Even if the council agreed to one of our plans, it would never be finished in time for the hospital's opening."
In a letter seen by the Advertiser, the then chief executive of Croydon Council, Jon Rouse, argued Purley had a high "public transport accessibility level" which meant planning policy "encouraged a reduction in onsite parking provision". He also said the town's public car parks could cater for the hospital's visitors.
However, Purley's residents are concerned the number of people coming to use the new hospital will be far higher than the number using the old. They fear the lack of spaces will result in irresponsible and dangerous parking throughout the town.
The finished building will serve 80 per cent of the south of the borough's healthcare needs – the equivalent of 90,000 outpatient appointments a year – up from 40 per cent in the old building.