SCIENTISTS at Salisbury Hospital say parking should be put under the microscope because there are not enough spaces for staff.

Sheryl Kay, a biomedical scientist in the hospital’s pathology lab says when she drives to work to start a shift after 9am, it is often impossible to find a space, even though she pays £22 per month for the privilege.

The 34-year-old, who lives in Waterloo Road, Salisbury, said she and her colleagues in the lab have such problems five or six times a month. She said: “I don’t mind paying for parking - it’s paying for not having a space that I object to. You see people driving round and round and I can be late for a shift because of it.”

She has been driving a car for a year and prefers not to take the bus to work because she says she sometimes works late hours and buses are not reliable.

Figures obtained by Mrs Kay using a Freedom of Information request show that 1,400 staff pay monthly for car parking and that there are 985 staff spaces, 165 staff bays, 15 car share spaces and about 280 spaces for residents, or shared between residents and staff or staff and patients.

In response to the complaints, hospital spokesman Patrick Butler said parking spaces were used flexibly to allow for fluctuations in demand.

He added: “The trust acknowledges the difficulty that some staff may have parking at specific times of the day and is currently carrying out a review on the availability of staff parking spaces during peak periods.”

He said when 260 additional spaces were approved in 2007, planners had required the hospital trust to encourage staff and visitors to cycle and walk or to use public transport or car-sharing.

Mark Wareham, Unison steward and staff side secretary at the hospital, said: “It benefits nobody if staff are being made late for shifts because of having to find a parking space.”