A suspension preventing hospital parking firm UKPC from obtaining driver details has been lifted by the DVLA.

The private company is contracted to police the car parks at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary, among others.

It emerged last month that the DVLA had suspended the national firm from accessing its driver database while it investigated concerns.

The suspension left drivers unclear about how it would enforce the penalty tickets issued, including those at the Carlisle hospital.

A spokesman for the DVLA has now confirmed that the suspension has been lifted, as of May 25. However he would not comment on the nature of the investigation or the findings.

"I can confirm that they were suspended from obtaining driver details between March 22 and May 25 this year while we looked at concerns. They are no longer suspended," he said.

The DVLA had however stated previously that even if the temporary ban was lifted, UKPC would not be able to retrospectively access driver details for tickets issued during the suspension.

This means that the firm will still not be able to use the DVLA database to trace motorists whose cars were issued with tickets at the hospital between March 22 and May 25.

The company also polices the car park at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, along with those at many other hospitals, supermarkets and retail sites nationally.

The Cumberland News contacted UKPC, but the firm has not yet provided a comment on the matter.

The firm was never banned from operating, so it was still allowed to issue tickets throughout the suspension period.

It however remains unclear how tickets issued between those dates will be enforced, unless the driver has contacted the firm directly.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Carlisle and Whitehaven hospitals, said it had been made aware that the suspension had been lifted. However it would not comment further on the suspension, or whether tickets would be enforced.

The national investigation was not directly related to Cumbria's hospital car parks. It is believed it looked at whether UKPC attendants were misleading drivers during a previous suspension.

The final outcome has not been made public, though the suspension has been lifted.

UKPC has come in for much criticism since it was appointed to police the Cumberland Infirmary car park in 2016.

Earlier this week it faced a backlash after a taxi was issued with a ticket while picking up a patient outside A&E.

The firm has since cancelled the fine after it caused outrage across social media. The hospital trust has since spoken to the taxi firm about future pick up arrangements to avoid a repeat.

There was also a public backlash two weeks ago after UKPC issued a ticket to a funeral director parked outside the hospital's mortuary.

The incident was caught on camera by a patient watching from a hospital window, who then posted the images online.

Again, the charge was later rescinded after hundreds of people shared the photos on social media.