THE NHS trust in charge of Oxfordshire’s hospitals has confirmed it is considering automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and removing barriers at two of its busiest sites to alleviate car parking problems.

Plans were first revealed by Matt Holmes, travel and transport manager at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, at a Community Transport Network meeting in Yarnton last Monday.

Gordon Rogers, chairman of Long Wittenham Parish Council, said: “He said that parking arrangements at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals were going to change; the present arrangement of barriers and pay and display are to be replaced with a system of automatic number plate recognition.

“He said it was hoped the new system would make parking easier at the hospitals - a long-running source of anger.”

Parking issues at the Headington hospitals have been a cause for concern for many years, with car parks routinely full during peak hours and times of heavy demand in winter.

In March this year OUH chief executive Bruno Holthof said five multi-storey car parks could be built in Oxford to deal with the issue.

Trust spokesman Kaelum Neville said: “The introduction of ANPR cameras and the removal of barriers at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals is something that is being considered by the Trust to help improve parking and traffic flow at both hospitals.

Currently, no plans have been finalised.”

ANPR cameras capture a car’s number plate on entering and leaving a car park and link to pay-and-display machines to acknowledge whether parking has been paid for for the duration of the stay.