Massive traffic jams congest Jarrom Street for hours

By Ben Sanderson

Hospital patients are having to queue for long periods of time due to frequent lengthy traffic jams delaying them getting into the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) car park.

On Tuesday, at about 3.30pm, Mrs Robertson, who runs the Sir Robert Peel pub in Jarrom Street, watching from her window, said: “The queue has been there since half-seven.”

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Frustrating – the traffic jam on Tuesday at about 2pm

Traffic clogging up Jarrom Street, which leads to Infirmary Close, where the LRI is, often stretches back to Welford Road and Oxford Street, on the fringes of the city centre, leaving it crammed with cars for hours.

Many of these are cars of hospital patients going to appointments.

Mrs Robertson said: “Jarrom Street is the main in-and-out area between places in Leicester, like the prison and the hospital.”

One annoyed car passenger waiting in Tuesday’s jam said: “We’ve been waiting from Welford Road for about half an hour.

“I come here every fortnight for appointments and this regularly happens.

“It raises my stress levels and my blood pressure.”

She added: “I hope they don’t enlarge the hospital. They say they are building a maternity unit and a children’s hospital.”

She was referring to the LRI’s plans, detailed on its NHS trust’s website, to seek investment to build additional facilities for the hospital, including a maternity unit and dedicated children’s hospital, as well as additional parking.

She added: “I pity the people on the sidewalk who breathe in all the carbon dioxide.”

Some said the root cause of the traffic seems to be problematic entrance barriers which struggle to decide whether there is enough space in the car park to let other vehicles in.

Another car’s passenger said: “The machine always says the car park is full but there are always loads of spaces.

“It can sometimes take an hour to get in because people won’t let you out or in, and you can only get in one way.”

She added: “The machine which says there are no spaces could be fixed.”

The main times the queue builds up are from 9am to the “back end of 11”, according to Mrs Robertson, who said they then die down a bit until visiting hours from 2 to 3.30pm. On Tuesday, however, she said the jam was “non-stop.”

The queues have been a regular sight for a long time now on Jarrom Street.

Mrs Robertson explained: “When the barriers are not working [and open], the traffic flows.

“When it is working and charging cars, the car park only lets one car in and one car out at a time.

“The queue builds up and then there is no space.”

Mrs Robertson said the jams also disrupt deliveries to the pub, with one delivery having been postponed for a week until Tuesday, with sensitive deliveries such as coal blocking the road.

“Due to what they’re handling, they need to be next to the pub, so they have to block traffic for about ten minutes,” she explained.

Worst of all, she fears the problems for Jarrom Street may only get worse.

“There are flats being built on Deacon Street as well,” she said, “so there are construction lorries in the morning, and in the New Year, Sherwin Kitchens is going to close and they’re going to build 158 flats on the site.”

She fears the construction traffic, and eventually the cars of the flats’ tenants, are going to clog up Jarrom Street even more.

In an interview with the Leicester Mercury, Director of Strategies for the University Hospitals of Leicester, Mark Wightman, recently said the planned expansion of the Leicester Royal Infirmary would, among other things, “decongest the Leicester Royal Infirmary.”

 

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