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Success for two-year long campaign to end ‘dangerous’ pedestrian access at hospital

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AFTERa two-year campaign to improve pedestrian access to Melksham Hospital, local campaigner, Caroline Fielding, is finally celebrating some good news.

A new pathway, which will enable pedestrians to walk to the wheelchair entrance of the hospital without having to walk through the car park, is hoped to be completed by early April this year. 

Caroline, who is registered as blind and relies on a guide dog, first raised her concerns in February 2018 about there being no footpaths or safe areas for pedestrians to use to walk  to the hospital from Spa Road. 

She described the experience of accessing the hospital as  similar to ‘stepping into a fairground dodgems ride,’ and demanded that NHS Property Services,  who are responsible for the site, take action.

After 12 months that saw no progress, Caroline had cause to celebrate after meeting with representatives from NHS Property Services in February last year, who agreed that a new safe place for pedestrians to cross be installed. But a year on, there still appeared to be no progress, leaving Caroline feeling ‘defeatist’.

However, following questions from Melksham News last week, NHS Property Services finally gave Caroline the news she was waiting for, telling her in an email that work on a new pathway will commence in early March and be completed by early April. 

“This feels like a knee-jerk reaction to the questions from Melksham News,” said Caroline. “But I am really pleased that this is finally going ahead, it will make it much safer for all disabled people to access the hospital. It’s excellent news and a great and simple solution.

“Thank you to Melksham News for its support and help raising this issue with NHS Property Services – the paper has definitely played a part in getting this done!”

An NHS Property Services spokesperson told Melksham News, “NHS Property Services is pleased to announce that construction of a new pedestrian access into Melksham Hospital will commence in mid-March, with work due to be completed shortly thereafter. 

“This new pathway will enable greater accessibility for patients arriving to Melksham Hospital via public transport, negating the need to walk through the car park.”

Picture: Map of the proposed new path at Melksham Hospital.

 

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