A CAMPAIGN to get a multi-storey car park at the John Radcliffe Hospital could be successful, but there’s a big catch.

Even if the car park does go ahead, it will not lead to an increase in parking spaces. This is in line with Oxford City Council’s guidelines of not increasing parking spaces in the area.

Oxford city councillor Alex Hollingsworth, who is responsible for planning and sustainable transport, said it was a ‘myth’ that the council had previously shrugged off ideas for a multi-storey.

Instead, he says, it has always been the case that the hospital cannot add any more bays. This means that should plans go-ahead for the car park, then the same number of spaces as there are at present, would be condensed into one car park – albeit over more floors.

There is believed to be 743 places available to the public.

An Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson confirmed the plans would be submitted by the end of the year.

However, city councillor Mick Haines – who started a campaign to get a multi-storey car park, said people were being ignored.

He said: “They are not listening to the people. We want more car parking spaces, not the same amount of spaces just in a multi-storey.

“I see it as just being awkward.”

In 2017, plans to build a multi-storey were scuppered due to planning guidelines which were put in place by the city council in an effort to reduce traffic in Headington.

Current rules set out by the council state there should be no overall increase in private car parking spaces in busy areas of the city, such as Headington.

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In an effort to alleviate some of the parking pressure, OUH bosses have already implemented some measures like moving admin staff to Cowley to free up spaces and sending day patients to the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

Mr Haines, who is an independent councillor, added: “A multi-storey car park should have happened a long time ago. But it doesn’t make sense to build one without any more spaces. The hospital can’t carry on building more and more without putting the infrastructure in.”

Earlier this year, work to expand the hospital's Accident and Emergency department began, with health chiefs making the move to keep pace with rapidly increasing patient numbers.

Mr Haines added: “I will keep going with the petition.

"As I see it, if they can’t have any more spaces then why is the building work being approved?”

Since the petition was posted online two weeks ago, it has racked up about 3,000 supporters – many of whom have left comments on the change.org website to vent their frustration with lengthy queues and daily gridlock at the hospital.

An initial paper petition, intended exclusively for people living near the hospital, was taken around homes by Mr Haines by hand. Within 24 hours, the paper petition gathered 100 signatures and has since snowballed into more than 800.

OUH confirmed it had no plans for more spaces.