THE city council hopes introducing charges at a car park in Marston will clampdown on staff from the nearby John Radcliffe Hospital using it.

The authority hopes to make £9,000 a year by charging at the Court Place Farm car park. It has plugged ‘significant capital investment’ to bring its surface up to scratch, it said.

The council said it hoped the new charges would work as a way of either getting people to share lifts to work or by using public transport.

Officers said they had found that staff from the JR were ‘taking advantage of the fact that the council currently does not charge for parking’.

They said it was ‘likely’ groups who use the car park during the day include JR workers because they can walk to the hospital site in 15 to 20 minutes.

Car parking is of such a premium at the hospital site that patients are asked to set aside an hour before visiting to park on typical weekdays.

But any NHS staff parking in paid-for spaces will soon need to stump up to £6 a day for the pleasure.

The city council will now ask Oxfordshire County Council as the highways authority to approve the change and then publicise it An order must be advertised for 21 days from then to give anyone the opportunity to formally comment on it.

The car park is divided into three separate areas.

They are separately controlled by Oxford City Football club, OXSRAD sports centre and the city council – and the football club and OXSRAD said the car park cannot cope at times of peak demand.

There are 170 spaces in the car park and 90 of those will be charged for. They are the 70 spaces owned by the council and 20 owned by OXSRAD.

The city council said it has been unable to agree arrangements with the football club, but that there was consensus the car park must be ‘better managed’.

The car park has been free and without any other parking controls until now. The authority said that ‘has not encouraged visitors to explore whether car sharing or more sustainable forms of transport could be considered’.

A council report said: “Failure to implement a cohesive policy at Court Place Farm will not encourage motorists to change their behaviour. The car park will remain an attractive alternative for employees working at the hospital and capacity will be exceeded during peak periods.”

For the 90 spaces in the car park, charges will be £1 for up to three hours, £2 for between three and six hours and £6 for between six and 24 hours.

The long stay charge is much cheaper than in other similar car parks. At Hinskey Park, Walton Well Road and Alexander Court, a stay between five and 24 hours costs £15.