RESIDENTS living near to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley are at “the end of their tether” over inconsiderate parking by visitors and staff.

Neighbours who live at Byron Street, Tennyson Street, and Milton Street say they have had enough of the problems caused by the parking.

Brian Grainger, of Byron Street, described how it was often difficult for him and his neighbours to park on their own drives or reverse off them due to obstruction or impaired visibility caused by parked cars.

He said: “We know people don’t want to pay for parking at the hospital but this just isn’t fair on local residents. Often cars are so badly parked, emergency vehicles cant get through and it undermines our safety.”

According to The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which operates Russell Hall Hospital, parking is free for the first 15 minutes. Up to one hour costs £2.80; three hours £3.80; and up to 24 hours £5.80.

Brockmoor and Pensnett councillor Judy Foster (Labour) said: "This is a long-standing problem. Lines have been put down to try and resolve it, but people continue to park just outside the lines which the council, and then the police, tell residents is the other’s job to enforce.

“It just isn’t good enough for the council and police to have these battles in-front of residents who don’t care who is responsible as long as action is taken against offenders.”

Cllr Foster said she had spoken to the hospital in the past about adopting a practice in which they register cars belonging to staff so any offenders reported could be identified. While the hospital has not agreed to this, Cllr Foster said she would “collect registration numbers and report them anyway”.

She said: “One resident on this very street contacted me just a few weeks ago as a luxury car was parked across her driveway which was blocking her in.

“Eventually, the person concerned, a medical professional who had spent the day at the hospital on business, was reported to the police and turned up eventually having been tracked down by his insurance company.

“Residents shouldn’t have to spend hours being inconvenienced and having to track offenders down because selfish individuals who can afford parking are trying to avoid parking charges.”

Councillor Karen Shakespeare (Conservative), Dudley Council's cabinet member for public realm, said: “On street parking restrictions have been introduced to deter parking in dangerous locations or where there are restrictions to through traffic including emergency services and buses.

“We will continue to monitor requests for further restrictions but we also have to bear in mind further restrictions may also affect residents and their visitors.

“Irresponsible parking on residential streets, whether it’s around schools, hospitals or other busy areas is not helpful. We want to encourage sensible and safe parking across the borough.

“This will make our towns safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Inappropriate parking can be reported to Dudley Council Plus.”