THE days of patients, visitors and staff clogging up streets around Colchester General Hospital could be coming to an end.

North Essex Parking Partnership, run by Colchester Council, wants residents’ views on various options.

The choices are: A residents' parking scheme, costing about £50 a year.

Single yellow line parking restrictions.

Double yellow line permanent parking restrictions.

Do nothing.

Residents have one month to respond to the consultation.

The consultation aims to stop hospital visitors and staff from parking in nearby residential streets, including Fieldview Close and Wryneck Close.

Colchester Council has introduced nominal parking charges at High Woods Country Park, in Turner Road, to discourage staff and visitors from parking there.

Car parking charges at the hospital have not changed since May 2007. Visitors pay £1.80 for up to one hour, £3 for between one and two hours, £4 for between two and four hours and £5 for between four and eight hours. Any longer costs £10.

John Atkins, 74, said when he bought his bungalow in Kingswood Road ten years ago the surveyor’s report stated there may be trouble with visitors parking on the street.

He said: “It’s been going on such a long time.

“There has been a push to get something done about it, but, to be honest, I will believe it when I see it.

“I would like to see a residents’ parking scheme.”

Mr Atkins said staff and visitors leave very little Pat Crosby, 63, of Kingswood Road, said: “I would like to see double yellow lines, at least on the blind bend. That would ease things.

“I wouldn’t mind the residents’ parking scheme. Paying £80 would be worth it, but it’s been going on such a long time now that I don’t know what to expect.”

Martin Goss, borough councillor for Mile End, has led the campaign for restrictions to be introduced.

He said: “I feel residents’ parking will probably come out on top in most of the side roads. It gives more control to local residents and gives them a better environment.

“I’m glad this saga is coming to an end.”

Restrictions are not expected to be implemented for a year.