Health campaigners warned patients could be scared off having treatment if they are faced with having to travel long distances to hospital.
Patients will face journeys to hospitals in Hammersmith or Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, for treatment if proposals by health officials to close all cancer services at Mount Hospital go ahead.
This week it took Gazette reporter Elsa McLaren one hour to travel to Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith on public transport, and photographer Toby Vandevelde one hour 15 minutes by car.
Joan Davis, chairwoman of health campaign group Community Voice, commenting on the Gazette’s investigation, said she feared people may think twice about undergoing life-saving treatment due to extra stress and costs.
She said: “The rush hour is the real problem. People often have appointments at 9am. Or they have to come home from having treatment in the evening rush hour. When I went there at midday it took half an hour to go one mile by car. As for public transport, most people do not live on top of the station and have to walk to get there and back.
“One of the side effects of any cancer treatment is tiredness. These longer journeys will just add stress for people when they are getting increasingly weary over a long period of treatment.”
To park at Mount Vernon Hospital costs a flat fee of £2.10, but at Charing Cross Hospital it costs £1.50 per hour, or £1.60 per hour in nearby residential roads.
Mrs Davis said: “I think many people would find it very expensive, particularly those going for radiotherapy every day for one month. If you’ve got to pay £1.60 per hour to park your car you need a good amount of money behind you to be able to accept your treatment.
“All these problems raise questions of whether people will go for treatment or not bother.”
Community Voice, a group which includes doctors, nurses, former patients and residents’ association representatives, has called for a new cancer centre to be built at Mount Vernon.
* For information about joining the campaign to keep the cancer centre open call Community Voice on 01895 636095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org