Some people attending their vaccination appointment faced long delays today due to traffic build-up.
It was the first day the centre had operated both as a local hub and an NHS Vaccinaton Centre for people within a 45-minute radius.
Earlier today, Prof Mike Holmes from Nimbuscare, which is overseeing the centre, told YorkMix Radio that the numbers coming through were expected to more than double today – from 1,000 to 2,300.
Those extra numbers seem to have caused congestion around and into the Askham Bar site.
Dave Swinn was taking his elderly neighbour for his appointment.
He said what was normally a 15 minute drive turned into 50 minutes, with traffic queuing back onto Tadcaster Road. Then it was another hour wait to get parked in the centre. “Attendants are blaming it on early arrivals,” he told YorkMix.
Dave described signage and communication at the centre as poor – but understood the scale of the challenge.
“It’s a big operation, guess things can go wrong on the day,” he said.
His neighbour has now had his vaccination.
A spokeswoman for Nimbuscare apologised for the delays.
She said: “The directions for the Askham Bar Park and Ride bus site are clearly signposted. Please follow them, because we are using private back roads to help people easily access the vaccine site, to avoid the roads linked to Tesco supermarket.
“We are very sorry for the delay. Please come to your appointment at the specified time, and not before.
“We are experiencing some short delays, but if you have an appointment today you will be seen, so we ask for your patience.”
The key messages are:
- Please don’t worry about being late for your appointment – you will get your vaccination
- We are having a few issues with the traffic flow. This is because people are arriving early for their appointment and some cars are coming to the site via the Tesco roundabout
- All cars (except taxis and drop offs) must go via the new park and ride entrance. They will be directed to the vaccination centre from there
- People on foot can come direct to the main entrance
- Taxis/drop offs should follow the staff signs.