‘Staggeringly bad’ traffic jams are causing patients to miss vital hospital appointments in York, a taxi boss says.
Mark Goldsborough, director of Streamline Taxis, described the gridlock around York Hospital as the worst since the firm has witnessed since it began operating in 1937.
It affects Wigginton Road, Crighton Avenue, Haxby Road, Clarence Street, Gillygate, Lord Mayor’s Walk and all surrounding areas, he said.
The jams are causing a knock-on effect on other areas of York which is “quite staggering especially around 2pm on weekdays – causing further traffic pollution which all of us together are trying to reduce,” he said.
Mark quoted as an example a cancer patient Streamline were taking to a hospital appointment yesterday (Tuesday).
The journey from Kirkham Avenue to the Magnolia Cancer Treatment Centre at York Hospital was 1.4 miles and should have taken five to ten minutes. Instead it took 50 minutes.
It meant the elderly passenger missed the appointment he had been waiting months for – and faced a £14 taxi fare.
“The traffic was at a standstill all around the whole area,” Mark told YorkMix Radio.
“There were ambulances trying to get round us doing three-point turns, with critical people in the back.”
He described it as a “very real health and safety issue”.
“This isn’t a bleat about taxi drivers moaning and losing money, it’s about critical appointments for local residents being missed, ambulances not been able to access A&E in a timely fashion and the static traffic pollution populating a large part of York city centre.”
A major part of the problem is the traffic waiting to access the hospital multi-storey car park queuing onto Wigginton Road, Mark said.
He would like to meet with City of York Council to talk about possible solutions.
“Wigginton Road is wide enough to put two lanes in. We could have a filter lane in coming from both ways, one turning left into the hospital so the remaining traffic could go straight ahead – and the same coming towards the hospital,” he said.