UNION bosses have voiced their ‘horror’ at proposals to introduce number plate recognition technology at Furness General Hospital's car park.

Frustrations about limited parking at the hospital and neighbouring streets being used by staff, patients and visitors have been growing for a number of years.

Plans to create more spaces have been repeatedly put back since 2017 and now it is likely the trust will not gain planning permission to expand the car parks until January 2020.

NHS workers say bosses at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust have now revealed they are considering installing cameras on the car parks in December to tackle misuse.

Union bosses said the plans were ‘ludicrous’ and have called on hospital bosses to hold a public consultation.

Unite regional organiser Gail Bundy said: “We are absolutely horrified at the trust’s proposal of utilising automatic number plate recognition technology to manage the car parks at their three hospital sites.

“The implications for patients, their families and staff at FGH are likely to be significant.

“The trust has acknowledged in its own project plan that there will likely be over 100 parking penalty charge notice appeals or queries every day for the first three months of the proposed contract being in place.

“This change would likely to hit patients and their families in the pocket.

“We will continue to talk to the trust and oppose this ludicrous suggestion.

Hawcoat Councillor Hazel Edwards, who lives in Glenridding Drive near the hospital, said Barrow Borough Council has been researching parking problems near the site.

“There’s no quick and easy fix although I do believe that parking at the hospital should be free,” she said.

“The situation in Whinlatter Drive and Glenridding Drive is absolutely horrendous.”

Chief operating officer Foluke Ajayi said the trust ‘does not have the resources to undertake major capital building projects to alleviate parking difficulties’ but insisted no final decision had been made.

She added that the trust was still considering converting FGH’s top car park into a multi-storey car park.

“We want patients and staff to be able to park with as little trouble as possible and that is our aim, whilst still ensuring we deliver services within the financial resources available to us,” she said.

“We will continue to share and discuss any car parking issues and suggestions with staff and union colleagues.”