Campaigners are furious after disabled parking bays at The Christie hospital were turned over to private patients. Disabled patients now have to park further away from the treatment centre after a reorganisation of the cancer hospital’s Oak Road car park.
But hospital bosses say moving the disabled spaces has allowed them to create an extra eight dedicated bays, following a building programme at their Withington site.
They say although the spaces are further away from the centre’s entrance they are still within the same car park and they are next to a covered walkway, which makes travelling to and from the centre more comfortable.
One patient, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “Spaces which were reserved for disabled drivers until a couple of weeks ago due to their close proximity to the building are now being reserved for private patients.
“This leaves disabled people to walk over double the distance to enter the building.
“I and many other people think that this is an absolute disgrace.”
A hospital spokesman said the spaces were moved about 40 metres but were still very close to the building.
He said: “We also have a drop-off facility for all patients directly outside our Oak Road entrance.
“The ongoing improvement work also includes enhanced signage, more dropped down kerbs and in the coming weeks using our multi-storey car park for patients and visitors which will help us to provide parking nearer to patients’ treatment areas.”
James Harding, Leonard Cheshire Disability’s local campaigns manager, based in Manchester, said: “It is crucial that parking is made available to disabled people, particularly for those who might not be able to walk long distances.”