CALLS have been made to expand car parking areas at the John Radcliffe Hospital to tackle reported half-hour queues to find a space.

Visitors have described long queues to find a parking spot while making appointments or seeing loved ones at the city’s main hospital.

Oxford University Hospital Trust, which runs the John Radcliffe, claims its hands are tied by planning regulations – despite undisclosed amounts of land that could be used for parking.

Oxford City Council, the planning authority, hit back, saying the hospital had enough parking spaces but too many were allocated for staff.

The John Radcliffe has 640 parking spaces for the public, a further 103 disabled spaceand 1,624 spaces for staff.

Patient Voice chairwoman Jacquie Pearce-Gervis said: “I make sure I am half-an- hour early – you now have to regularly queue for half-an-hour, and it’s getting worse.

“There need to be more parking places, better publicity about where you can get a bus and better access to the car park for taxis and to drop off to stop congestion.”

The number of patients across the trust’s hospitals, the JR, Churchill and Horton, has increased by thousands in the last four years. Emergency inpatients rose from 72,040 in 2009/10 to 76,144 in 2011/12, while outpatient attendances rose from 620,847 to 669,542 in the same period.



Georgina Gibbs, 49, lives in nearby Saxon Way. She said illegal parking in her road had increased from about three cars a day five years ago to eight or nine now. She added: “Sometimes you can’t get into your drive. They’ve overbuilt at the JR and have not got enough parking. “Trying to cram everything on one site is putting pressure on residential streets.”

She said residents were now regularly phoning parking wardens to fix the problem. Most of Headington and Northway is a controlled parking zone.

City councillor Colin Cook, executive board member for city development, said: “There needs to be greater encouragement for staff to use alternatives to the car, and to up the amount of spaces for the public and decrease those available to staff.”

But he said, without major development, the council would not allow more parking at the site, adding: “There are enough spaces, it is how they go about using them.”

An Oxford University Hospitals Trust spokesman said: “At busy times in the week queues can occur. This is why we encourage the use of public transport.

“The trust works with the city and county councils to balance the needs of patients, visitors and staff and our responsibilities to encourage those who are able to use public transport to play our part in reducing traffic and the effects on neighbours.”

Asked if the trust had space to expand car parking, the spokesman said: “Yes, but there are planning restrictions which limit how many spaces the site is allowed.”

The trust refused to comment about transferring staff spaces to the public, or provide details of how much space was available to develop for further parking.


JR space invaders

  • The John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington has 640 car parking spaces for the public, 103 for disabled people and 1,624 for staff.

  • Patient numbers have increased across the trust, including emergency inpatients rising from 72,040 in 2009/10 to 76,144 in 2011/12 and outpatients from 620,847 to 669,542 in that period.

  • Oxford University Hospitals Trust employs 11,000 people, with most based at the John Radcliffe Hospital. The trust was unable to give more precise figures.

  • The trust received £2.7m from parking, including £1.3m from spaces at the John Radcliffe, in 2011/12. The £432,544 surplus was put into patient services.
  • The JR offers free parking for relatives of patients who are long-stay or attend regularly and offers transport for patients on low income.