Neighbours have called on the council to help end a parking “nightmare” in streets surrounding a hospital.

People living near Barnet Hospital in Chipping Barnet say double-parked cars are blocking access to their streets and causing a string of problems – including stopping ambulances from reaching their homes.

At a meeting of Chipping Barnet residents’ forum on Wednesday (January 8), they called on the council to paint double yellow lines along some roads to help tackle the issue.

A controlled parking zone (CPZ) was introduced in several roads near the hospital in 2018 to ensure only residents with permits could leave their cars in the bays.

But while this has stopped non-residents – including hospital staff – from leaving their cars on the streets, people living just outside the CPZ claim it has pushed parking problems onto their streets.

Sunita Anderson, who lives in Newlands Place, told the meeting: “Yesterday, we couldn’t access our own road because of double-parked cars on the two sides of Bells Hill.

“We are in one of the roads that has not yet had a CPZ, so all the problems have been pushed down.

“A couple of months ago, I couldn’t get my car out of my road to attend a hospital appointment. By the skin of my teeth, I managed to make it there by public transport.”

She added that the council had told her people were not breaking the law unless they were parked on double yellow lines.

Other residents described the situation as “just a nightmare” and “terrible”.

Cllr David Longstaff (Conservative, High Barnet), the council’s deputy leader, told people they should reply to consultations if they want their roads to be included in CPZs, as they are only rolled out on streets in which a majority of residents express their support.

But several people at the meeting claimed they had never received a consultation in the first place.

Cllr Paul Edwards (Labour, Underhill), called for a review of the CPZ.

He said: “It is a mess. When the consultation was done, for some reason the turn-out on Bells Hill was low and the response rate for a CPZ was low too.”

Cllr Edwards claimed officers had promised to put in yellow lines to stop double parking but had not yet done so.

He added. “The CPZ is desperately in need of a review. Review it ASAP, so residents can tell you exactly how bad it is for them, so you can improve it.”

Chairman of the forum Cllr Lisa Rutter (Conservative, Brunswick Park) said she would refer the matter to the area committee to consider funding for yellow lines and called on councillors to get together to discuss ways to tackle the problems.

Cllr Longstaff said he had not heard anything from council officers about a CPZ review but was happy to support Cllr Edwards’ plan.

Barnet blogger John Dix warned the parking problems would only get worse unless the hospital built a multi-storey car park for its staff.

He said: “Barnet Council has just loaned £22.9 million to Saracens to build a new stand. Why can’t it lend money to build a multi-storey car park and share in some of the income?”

Chairman of the health scrutiny committee Cllr Alison Cornelius (Conservative, Totteridge) told the meeting that former council leader Cllr Richard Cornelius had offered to help fund a car park but the hospital turned him down.

She said the hospital had indicated it would lodge a planning application to build a car park at the site but had not yet done so.

A plan to address the parking problems is set to be discussed at a meeting of Chipping Barnet area committee on Wednesday, January 22.