Hereford alley is a disgrace, says man campaigning for hospital gate to be locked

A HEREFORD man is campaigning for a gate to be permanently locked at Hereford County Hospital after what he says is an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Stephen Jones, who lives in the adjoining Mansbridge Avenue, branded the state of Union Walk a disgrace as used masks and cigarette butts are being blown into his garden after being dropped in the alleyway which runs along the back of the hospital.

A mask that blew into Mr Jones garden in Mansbridge Avenue. Photo: Stephen Jones

A mask that blew into Mr Jones’ garden in Mansbridge Avenue. Photo: Stephen Jones

He said the butts and masks were dropped by people leaving the hospital site for a cigarette by a back gate.

“There are used masks all over the ground and stuffed into the hedge,” said Mr Jones, who has been self-isolating with his wife since March 2020.

“The cigarette butts are all along the alley, and when it’s windy they finish up in our gardens and around our vehicles.”

Cigarettes litter the ground around the bin near Hereford County Hospital. Photo: Stephen Jones

Cigarettes litter the ground around the bin near Hereford County Hospital. Photo: Stephen Jones

Hereford Times: Cigarettes piled against the fence in Union Walk. Photo: Stephen JonesCigarettes piled against the fence in Union Walk. Photo: Stephen Jones

He said he was further concerned that he had seen smokers sitting on the ground opposite the gate in the alley, which is frequently used by dog walkers.

Mr Jones said residents are also finding themselves trapped in their own homes by cars dropping people off and waiting at the site’s back gate for coronavirus testing, instead of using the main hospital entrance and car park.

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“We have had to call the police to stop them parking here,” he said.

“There were 15 cars one day, and they are coming around from 6am to 6pm. We go out and tell them to leave, but they don’t, they just sit there with their cars running.”

“We have disabled people living here, and they have been unable to go and do their shopping because taxis can’t get in. It’s just a nightmare every day. It’s a disgrace.

“There’s no need for that gate to be open at all, but this has been going on for years.”

Mr Jones, who said he loves the NHS, and credits staff at the hospital with saving his life during a recent illness, said he has raised the issue of the back gate with Wye Valley NHS Trust and Sodexo on several occasions and has been told that the gate should be locked, but feels no action is being taken as the gate remains open.

“I am trying to get a meeting with my MP, the police, and administration staff at the Hereford Hospital. This has all got to stop,” he said.

Wye Valley NHS Trust has been contacted for comment.

Hereford Times