PEEVED patients are calling for 'ridiculous' parking rules at their GP surgeries to be scrapped.

Coker Close in Bicester acts as a 'health hub' for residents, with multiple GP surgeries, a community hospital and a pharmacy.

The area's 'extremely limited' car parking spaces are divided between each related surgery or health practice, then divided again between staff and patient parking.

But if patients are caught moving between services on foot without moving their cars just metres along the road, they are being slapped with a £100 fine.

Read again: John Radcliffe parking 'unlikely' to be increased despite dozens of formal complaints

One patient caught out by the strict rules, Ellie Coleman, said she was handed a £100 fine for parking in bays for the community hospital instead of the health centre.

She said: "It is all on the same site, there is never enough space and it is badly signed.

Oxford Mail:

"My only other option this morning would have been to miss the appointment, undoubtedly causing the NHS to lose money."

Ms Coleman said she was unaware she had parked in the wrong area due to the signs being unclear, and said she would appeal against the fine.

She said: "What I don’t understand is why the various NHS services on that site can’t share the spaces. I understand why shoppers can’t park there but it’s not like I was heading to Bicester Village – I was going to the GP surgery to get my baby her 12-week jabs.

"I also don’t understand why they don’t sign it better. I’ve been using that site for years and genuinely didn’t realise.

"It is a shame they closed the GP surgery I used to be registered with, which I could walk to. So much for the 'healthy town' tag."

Oxford Mail:

Ms Coleman is not the only patient to have been caught out recently: many more have spoken of the problem on the Bicester Facebook Chat page.

One commenter said she was caught out leaving one GP surgery, having been sent for an X-ray over the road at the hospital and having not moved her car due to lack of spaces.

Another commenter said: "It seems stupid to have to move your car a couple of feet just to avoid getting a ticket. Especially as there could be legitimate reasoning for going to all the buildings in Coker Close."

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is currently discussing plans to create another 'health hub' to help cater to the town's growth.

Read again: Bicester residents alarmed by plan to merge GP services

But residents fear this would mean the closure of other practices around Bicester, and the creation of another 'hub' just one mile from Coker Close.

The concerns are that it would add to an already busy part of town, as well as added pressure on the Coker Close surgeries and parking.

Bicester Traffic Action Group co-chairwoman Jan Harvey said: "At Coker Close in Bicester there are two doctors' surgeries, the community hospital, a pharmacy and several associated clinics.

"Parking is extremely limited and this is a problem: patients have to wait until a space becomes available, often making them late for appointments, which has a knock-on effect.

"To compound this, parking attendants are being employed to fine patients who cannot find a space and park where they can to avoid being late or missing appointments. For those people with mobility problems, who can't park elsewhere, this is a real problem."

Oxford Mail:

As result of the complaints, town councillor Les Sibley said the 'ridiculous' parking rules should be scrapped immediately.

He said much of the reasoning behind originally implementing the restrictions had gone, including no nearby school for parents to use the parking, and the park-and-ride now serves the local buses.

He added: "We come back to the same old problem of there not being enough parking down there – parking restrictions should have never been implemented. Add to that, hundreds of patients were moved over to these sites when North Bicester Surgery closed, adding to the problems.

"It is outrageous that people are being fined £100, and because of a ridiculous rule. It should act as one entity and people should be able to park in any of the spaces when using the health facilities."

Read again: Patients to be moved as matter of urgency ahead of Bicester surgery closure

Mr Sibley said the problem could cause 'a lot of anxiety' among patients who are already ill, adding: "They shouldn't be worrying about parking."

The Coker Close site is owned by NHS Property Services, and a spokesman said: "Thank you for bringing the matter of parking in Coker Close to our attention.

"As far as I am aware, we have not received any complaints directly, however if members of the public would like to raise their concerns with our customer service team, we will work with our parking contractor to find a practicable solution."

To contact NHS Property Services call 08000853015 or email