A PATIENT support group has raised doubts over plans to help tackle the daily traffic gridlock at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust announced in March that ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) will be installed at the Headington hospital in an effort to combat the long-running parking issue which often leads to long delays for patients and visitors.

However, Jacquie Pearce-Gervis of Oxford's Patient Voice said that while she was glad to hear the hospital was looking to resolve the parking situation, patients had questioned just how much impact the proposals were likely to have both in the car parks and on the surrounding roads.

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Mrs Pearce-Gervis said: "It would have been sensible if they had called a meeting with patient groups and staff before making the announcement.

"We are pleased that at last OUH is tackling the parking situation, but without details on how it will operate we cannot see how it will help the situation."

The trust has acknowledged that the parking problems have led to patients being placed in ‘considerable distress' in the past and has been the subject of dozens of complaints over the last year.

Read also: John Radcliffe Hospital bosses reveal plans for ANPR

According to the business plan, the new technology will provide quicker access and exit as visitors would not have to wait to take a ticket, while VMS would improve traffic flow around the hospital by allowing patients to see where the spaces are.

While the trust's smartphone app will be able to give information on traffic conditions before people set off for appointments.

Oxford Mail:

Responding to the plans Mrs Pearce-Gervis said: "How is this going to improve the parking?

"On arrival, will we be directed to a specific car park or will we be expected to use Smartphones to tell us where there are spaces - many people don't have these.

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

"How will we pay? Do we have to use debit or credit cards? Some people don't have them so will people still be able to pay by cash?

"How will it prevent those who are not attending the hospitals from parking in the car park and how will it improve the log jams up Headley Way, which even the buses have to endure?

"In short, more detail is needed."

Also read: Petition for another car-park at the John Radcliffe Hospital

Speaking when the plans were announced at the end of March, OUH Chief finance officer Jason Dorsett, said: “We recognise that car parking and traffic flow are a major source of frustration for our patients, visitors and staff that can impact negatively on patients’ experience of visiting our hospitals, and we see the implementation of ANPR and VMS as a significant step in improving the current situation."

The scheme should be installed by September 2019 if the plans get the green light from Oxford City Council.