EXTRA parking at Oxford's hospitals is being blocked by council bosses due to fears it will make traffic jams worse.

Oxford City Council said employers were having to find 'alternative ways' of getting staff to work and NHS bosses running the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals were 'no different'.

It means that even if a new multi-storey car park is built it will not be allowed to increase the overall number of spaces on the site.

Patients have complained for years about long searches for a parking space at the sites due to the car park often being full.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says it is drawing up a 'masterplan' to deal with the problem.

Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, the city council's planning boss, said: “The council's planning policies for the hospital sites in Headington aim to limit the amount of parking on site, because additional parking will generate more traffic on local streets that are already congested.

"The priority for the limited spaces on site need to be patients, their visitors, and essential medical staff.

"Major employers across Oxford have worked hard to provide alternative ways of getting their staff to work using public transport, and the Trust is no different.

"We welcome the trust looking positively at this issue and look forward to seeing their masterplan proposals and working with  them on our emerging local plan.”

A hospital trust spokesman said: "We are reviewing the numbers of patients visiting our hospitals as part of a piece of work with the council to inform possible solutions to improving the complex issues of access and car parking. 

"The trust is working on a masterplan and one of the options under discussion includes a multi-storey car park.  

"However, under the current restrictions this proposal alone would not generate additional spaces.  

"We believe the long term solution to car parking problems will involve a combination of initiatives including alternative methods of travel for staff and patients to the site."