FURIOUS drivers have criticised a hospital for letting cars into its car park... despite there being no spaces in which to park!

Basildon Hospital faces claims its multi-storey car park is advertising there are spaces despite it being completely full.

Bartholomew Simpson, who lives in Basildon, visited the hospital earlier this week.

He said: “I drove all round that car park following a number of other drivers all looking for that non existing parking space, I drove right up to the roof and all the way back down again to the ground where I just happened to see a lady walking back to her car in the open air section of the car park , this actually took me 37 minutes to locate this space.

“When I complained in the hospital, I was told by the receptionist that although she does not agree with it, the car park staff do let people in even when there are no spaces because it reduces the build up of the traffic on the roundabout, so that means your 30 minutes of so-called free parking is actually spent on driving round an already full car park which the car park staff know is full.

“So in reality there is no free 30 minute free parking.”

Mr Simpson added: “I did mention the car park to the ward I visited and the nurses there told me they have on occasion heard complaints from visitors that it has taken them over an hour to get parked.

“Stating you get 30 minutes free parking when it takes you more than that just to get a space in an already full car park and their payment machines that have never given a receipt is an utter disgrace.”

A Basildon Hospital spokesman said: “Our hospital is seeing an increase in patient numbers and rising car use.

“We know parking can be frustrating for our patients and visitors and are actively exploring solutions to resolve this, however there will always be demand for more spaces than we can supply.”

The spokesman added: “Our priorities are to provide parking for all our patients, free parking for ‘priority group’ patients, unimpeded access to and around the site for emergency vehicles and crucial supplies such as oxygen and sufficient parking for staff who really have no alternative but to drive to work.”