A disabled vicar has been left "stressed and angry" after being hit with parking fines while visiting hospital for serious medical tests.

The Rev Paul Smith, vicar at St Michael's and St Nicolas churches in Abingdon, was fined while attending diagnostic tests at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

The clergyman, known to his congregation as Father Paul, lives with cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair and has a blue parking badge.

He was left frustrated after being fined for displaying the badge in the front window.

Told he must scan it, he was fined a second time while scanning it at a machine some distance from his car.

After complaining to the private company, SIP Parking, which operates the Headington hospital's car parks he received an apology from the hospital, acknowledging his "experiences with parking at the Churchill Hospital had fallen short of its normal high standards".

He said the whole experience had left him feeling "frustrated, stressed and angry" and he criticised the company for not displaying clear signs which made it obvious that displaying the blue holder badge was not enough.

He said: "It is demanding and challenging enough to drive to hospitals and find a designated parking space as a blue badge holder. To be asked to jump through more hoops as a full-time wheelchair user is unfair."

Father Paul said it was an "unreasonable" requirement to force disabled people to make the journey over to a pay machine when they found mobility difficult.

After his first fine he told the car park operators he had "no prior knowledge on that occasion that displaying a blue badge in a designated disabled parking area was insufficient to satisfy exemption to pay".

Father Paul also attends hospitals in a professional capacity as a parish priest and said it was "disappointing" that displaying the blue badge was not enough considering the purpose of his visits are to provide comfort to the sick.

He is now concerned about further fines while he carries out his pastoral role to patients.

He said: "To visit a hospital, of all places, and to experience even greater physical challenges and a poor use of valuable time and energy, is not good for one's general wellbeing."

Hospital staff informed Father Paul he would need to re-register his blue badge every three months if he wanted to avoid further fines.

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – which runs the Churchill – said: "We are sorry that Mr Smith's experiences with parking at the Churchill have fallen short of our normal high standards. The travel and transport team is reviewing Mr Smith's letter with SIP, and we will respond to him shortly.

"His parking ticket has been rescinded, and we have registered his blue badge and registration so that this should not happen again.

"Parking for blue badge holders is free on all sites, and the travel and transport team is constantly reviewing the provision and procedures of these spaces to make improvements."