NEW measures are being looked at to ease the parking nightmare faced by visitors to Wycombe Hospital.

A review is currently being carried out which could see more bays and a different ticketing system.

This is seen as necessary to help stop unauthorised use of spaces - including by hospital staff - to free up room for visitors.

Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, revealed at a public board meeting last Wednesday it was conducting the review.

Despite offering 292 spaces for visitors the car park often becomes clogged.

John Summers, director of facilities and estates, said: "We do have some staff who park outside in Wycombe.

"It is a constant battle to improve car parking."

Mr Summers was responding to a question from a woman who said despite turning up 25 minutes before the meeting, she could still not find a parking space.

Wycombe MP Paul Goodman said he had written to the hospital in the past concerning unauthorised use of the car park by students at nearby Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (BCUC). However, he said the problem wasn't straightforward as the students felt they had nowhere to park.

He said: "I am sure the people who write to me would welcome the review. I think anything that can be done to improve the likelihood of patients and visitors being able to park there would be extremely welcome."

John Fisher, communications manager for Bucks Hospitals NHS Trust, said the review would take time.

He said: "Ideas under consider- ation include ways to enable more efficient use of existing space to create more parking bays, and introducing a pay on foot' system.

"This would mean users of this car park would take a ticket on arrival at the car park, paying before returning to their car only for the time they have spent at the hospital.

"This also deters unauthorised use.

"Despite regular reminders and clear signage aimed at preventing this, unauthorised use does occasionally include trust staff."

The meeting heard that the pay on foot' system had worked successfully at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Martin Briggs, deputy director for campus consolidation at BCUC, denied there was a current problem of students using spaces.

He said: "We have a travel plan to assist travel to the university college and work with local partners to provide public transport to the High Wycombe Campus."