Measures hoped to improve parking issues at Oxford hospitals

The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. NNL-190219-191302009
The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. NNL-190219-191302009

It is hoped chronic parking problems at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals will be improved by installing number plate recognition cameras and signs showing the amount of free spaces.

Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS trust approved a business case for the implementation of automated number plate recognition (ANPR) and variable message signs (VMS) in the visitor car parks on March 13.

A planning application will be submitted to Oxford City Council for the installation of the VMS – if approved, ANPR will be installed by September.

OUH chief finance officer Jason Dorsett said: “We recognise that car parking and traffic flow are a major source of frustration for our patients, visitors and staff that can impact negatively on patients’ experience of visiting our hospitals, and we see the implementation of ANPR and VMS as a significant step in improving the current situation.

“The trust will be working with patient groups, staff and stakeholders to ensure that this new system is introduced as smoothly as possible.”

The trust believes the measures will improve in the flow of traffic around the sites, make it quicker to visit hospital and be more convenient with payment by smartphone, cash, credit card, or online within 24 hours all to be supported.

Visitors will also have more choice through live updates on the availability of spaces before they get to the hospitals or if it is really busy then they can consider using the park and ride or another service.

Data from the ANPR will also assist the trust in future planning, a spokesman said.

Parking at the Oxford hospitals has been a long-standing issue for patients, visitors and campaigners with many complaining about a lack of spaces and long queues.