Tickets issued at hospital rise by 1,393 per cent over three years - with half issued to staff.

MORE than half of the parking tickets issued at North Devon District Hospital in the last three years have gone to staff, new figures reveal.

A Freedom of Information Act request also showed the total amount of penalty noticed issued at the hospital had see a thirteenfold increase in that time period.

Last year 822 penalty notices were issued at the Barnstaple site in the last financial year, with 426 of those given to staff.

In 2012/13, 140 penalty notices were issued with 108 of those to staff, and in 2011/12, 59 were issued with 56 of those to staff.

There are currently parking spaces available for less than half the staff working at the hospital, though shift patterns would make this more manageable.

The car park generates around £392,000 each year through ticket sales, and last year there was an additional £730 collected through parking fines.

In the last three years there has also been a total of 5,167 infringement noticed issued, with 57 per cent of these given to members of staff.

A spokesman for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust said that parking provisions at the hospital for both visitors and staff were ‘among the best of any acute hospital in the country’ in terms of the proportion of spaces available and the rates charged.

He added: “Across the Trust we have a ratio of around 2.6 staff to each car parking space – one of the lowest ratios in the country.

“National statistics also show that both our visitor and staff car parking rates are among the lowest of any acute hospital in the country.

“We offer staff a range of healthy travel options, including cycling to work or walking 10 to 20 minutes from one of two public car parks in Barnstaple, in which case we refund the parking fee in full.

“We also subsidise staff travel on the most used bus route to and from NDDH.”