THOUSANDS of patients at a new doctor's have been told there will be no extra parking on site and visitors must use the already busy John Radcliffe Hospital car park instead.

Some 5,500 people using the new Arthur Sanctuary House GP, a building on Woodlands Road owned by Oxford University Hospitals Trust which runs the JR, have been warned to expect gridlock after it was revealed there will be no patient parking at the new premises.

In an e-mail sent out to patients and seen by the Oxford Mail, users were told they should use the nearby pay and display car park at the hospital or take a bus to make their appointments.

Headington councillor Ruth Wilkinson said there was a ‘real anxiety’ in the community among those who were now facing significant delays.

She said: “Residents are asking us if it is sensible to set up a medical practice in a location where there is no parking.

“One partner from the practice apparently asked residents at a public meeting if they would let doctors and staff from the practice use their driveways.

"People are worried. John Radcliffe outpatients already have great difficulty finding a parking space and there is severe congestion."

The new Arthur Sanctuary House practice, which subject to a planning application for an extension, follows the separation of the former Marston Medical Centre at Cherwell Drive which was struggling to cope with demand.

Patients were moved into two new sites after the move, one at Marston Pharmacy, Old Marston Road which is set to open later this month, and the other at Arthur Sanctuary House, which was chosen after the OUH offered to help because there was no other suitable location.

But this is now set to add to problems on the roads as walking is not an option for many patients.

Long-running parking problems at the city’s biggest hospital hit crisis point earlier this year after the OUH took the extraordinary step of urging drivers to ditch their cars or face hour-long delays just to find a space.

Utility works and Oxfordshire County Council’s continuing £12.5m infrastructure improvement project Access to Headington have also caused misery for motorists in the area in recent months.

One patient at the surgery and Marston resident Rath Pakeerathan said the decision to not include parking other than disabled bays was part of a bigger problem at the surgery.

The 43-year old post-master said: “Not having anywhere to park is a problem definitely for patients.

“I think that the surgery is downgrading. They have failed by not having parking spaces.”

Hospital chiefs have revealed there have been 459,900 visits to the car park over the last twelve months, each averaging two and a half hours for its 730 parking bays.

From these, there were 973 parking fines issued, fixed at £25 each, totalling £24,325 in fines for parking illegally, a sum which was returned back to the trust.

The new practice falls under the umbrella of Hedena Health which comprises five surgeries in the area serving some 23,000 patients.

Speaking of the parking issues Marston councillor Mick Haines also sided with patients and said: “The situation is really bad at the John Radcliffe.

“I think a lot of the people will have a job getting up there, the parking situation is absolutely shocking there.

“There is an awful lot of people that use it and it’s not right that the people haven’t been considered for the parking.”

In response to the parking concerns, Dr Justin Amery at Hedena Health said that he regrets the lack of parking but said that there was no other choice.

He said: “We are also frustrated about the lack of parking availability but it’s a choice between finding premises or not. It’s the only one we could get at short notice.

“I appreciate the concerns and I am sorry we have not been able to find a place with real parking but it was that or close the practice.”

He added there were five sites which made up the Hedena Health umbrella and that patients were able to request appointments at any of the other locations.

Peter Knight, executive director at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement: “We have been happy to help Marston Medical Centre find a new temporary home on our John Radcliffe site.

“One of the advantages for them in locating to our site is that we are extremely well served by public transport and also have good cycling provision on site.

“The only parking for the practice on our sites is the provision for disabled parking outside the building.”