Royal Bolton Hospital rebuilds smoking shelters

Royal Bolton Hospital The smoking shelters were removed in 2009

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Smoking shelters are to be rebuilt at the Royal Bolton Hospital, after an online poll and postal vote from patients, staff and local people.

Those who wanted them won with 1,629 votes - just 49 more than those against the proposals.

Work on three new shelters starts soon, costing around £1,200 each. Six shelters were taken down in 2009.

Public health charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) described the decision as "the lesser of two evils".

Stephen Tyldesley, associate director for estates and facilities at the Royal Bolton. said: "It's been very contentious and we have had lots of complaints about people smoking round the entrance areas and we get those complaints from other patients, visitors and our staff.

"We found it difficult to manage by moving the patients on but they would come back later in the day."

Mr Tyldesley said it was not legally enforceable to ban smoking on the site.

A spokeswoman for ASH said: "This is a tricky one as having shelters might seem like condoning smoking, but if they don't there are people smoking everywhere in the grounds.

"This is the lesser of two evils really."

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