Managers at an Oxford hospital are calling for better bus routes to prevent disabled patients arriving late for appointments.

Patients find it hard to travel to the NOC The Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Windmill Road, Headington, claims residents' parking zones recently introduced in streets off London Road are causing major operational difficulties.

Although the hospital has 450 parking spaces, it is not enough to cater for all the patients and 1,000 staff, who can no longer leave their cars on nearby roads, coming to the site each day.

NOC chief executive, Ed Macalister-Smith, said: "There are major mobility problems for some of our patients and we've significantly increased the number of allocated disabled parking spaces to 60, but it's not enough.

"We understand the reasons why Oxfordshire County Council is trying to reduce traffic in this area, because it's absolutely horrendous.

"We've also met our NOC Neighbours Group, made up of about 40 residents, and they're clearly delighted with the improvements to their roads as a result of the residents' parking zones.

"But the net outcome is that it's very difficult for patients to get here. It's also very difficult for our staff to park."

Mr Macalister-Smith is now campaigning for better public transport to alleviate the problem.

Together with other major employers in the area, including the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and Oxford Brookes University, the NOC is discussing the issue with the county council.

He said: "We think that in this area there are 16,000 staff coming to our organisations, in addition to patients and students, and there still isn't enough public transport to get people directly into this part of Oxford.

"A lot of people still have to go through the city centre and then back out again, changing buses, and that makes commuting by public transport very difficult.

"We do have the bus that comes from the Thornhill park-and-ride but there are days when that car park is full.

"Another thing we want is a bus parking bay on Windmill Road, where the drop-down buses can let patients off easily."

Samantha Tharme, transport planner for the county council, said: "We've been subsidising the hospital park-and-ride from Thornhill, which has been running for about a year now.

"We are definitely looking at what other services we need to improve."