A couple have raised concerns over parking issues at Royal Bolton Hospital saying it took them nearly two hours to find a space.

Pensioners Ruth and Syd Oliver, aged 79 and 82, drove to Royal Bolton Hospital from their home in Astley Bridge on Wednesday, March 13 for both their appointments.

However, almost two hours after arriving at the hospital, they still had not been able to  park the car. 

Royal Bolton Hospital said it is set to "reopen" more parking spaces across the site, as part of the opening of new buildings, including the Bolton Institute of Medical Sciences

Ruth said: "You wait a little bit, hoping somebody comes out, then you have to try the other car parks and ride around. 

"You will see someone coming out and then another person will come and take it. Some cars were parked on double yellow lines, I suppose people are just risking it."

The Bolton News: Ruth and Syd OliverRuth and Syd Oliver (Image: Newsquest)

After driving around for "almost two hours", Ruth and Syd eventually found a space and made their appointments, but they had come especially early because they knew parking could be an issue there. 

She continued: "They must be aware of the situation, because it was just horrendous, it has been bad before but it was particularly bad on Wednesday. 

"The helper at the main entrance, I just said to her where is there to park at the hospital and she said I am really sorry, it's bad. 

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"She said her sister had an appointment and had to park on Plodder Lane, but my husband can't walk back and forth to Plodder Lane because of his health

"Hospital appointments very often are stressful, then you're going to an appointment having struggled to get a car parking space." 

The Bolton News: Royal Bolton HospitalRoyal Bolton Hospital (Image: Google)

Ruth added: "I looked at the bus services, but they only have one roughly every hour. Maybe if they had more regular bus services then it could improve the situation." 

Syd added: "I have never seen it like that before. They started that building but now have taken a car park away." 

Annette Walker, Chief Finance Officer at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We understand the recent frustrations about parking at Royal Bolton Hospital and we are exploring opportunities to create more patient parking in the future.

“In the coming weeks and months we’ll be re-opening more parking spaces across the site as extensive building works are completed, including our new Community Diagnostic Centre, theatres, and the Bolton Institute of Medical Sciences, which are all long-term investments in our services and local communities.

“We would like to thank our patients and visitors for their patience and understanding as these exciting projects near their completion.”

This comes after charges for parking at the hospital were increased at the end of February. 

Hospital bosses said charges have remained the same for a number of years, but due to the cost of maintenance increasing it has no choice but to raise them.