Signs detailing controversial new parking charges at Carlisle's hospital are WRONG, bosses have admitted.

Some fines are now being rescinded because they were given out in error, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.

The clampdown on erratic parking came into force at the city's Cumberland Infirmary last Monday, with 60 fines issued on the first day as bosses looked to get tough on offenders.

A number of staff members have since contacted the News & Star to say they had been issued tickets while they were at work, despite paying the maximum charge available.

National firm UKPC has been brought in by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and site management company Interserve to enforce a tough new parking policy. It follows calls for action to tackle the long-standing parking chaos at the infirmary.

But the trust says the signs that were put up are wrong.

The charges advertised state that it costs £5 to park for more than 3.5 hours, valid until midnight.

As a result, some staff working shifts that took them past the midnight cut-off point found themselves receiving fines.

But a trust spokeswoman said this was incorrect. The maximum charge should actually be £5 for 24 hours.

She added that this was always the policy, and Interserve is now updating signage to make that clearer.

The trust also confirmed that the longer term plan is still to an install a pay-on-exit barrier system, but not until the winter.

This will coincide with the opening of 270 new car parking places, which already have planning permission.

Chief executive Stephen Eames decided to get tough on parking following safety concerns, with cars regularly left obstructing the path of emergency vehicles as patients, visitors and staff struggled to find a space on the busy infirmary site.

The first step was to build a temporary 100-space staff car park next to Reiver House to free up parking elsewhere. This was followed by the new parking policy, which came into force on Monday.

But he has since received criticism for bringing in the tough new rules before the further 270 spaces were established.

Staff permit prices are also going up, and there is a waiting list to get one, so many are now having to pay full price to park in the main car park with patients and visitors.

One nurse, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from management , said: "I feel so strongly about this. Morale was low anyway in the hospital and it's even worse now.

" Earlier this week I saw two staff members arguing over a space so there clearly isn't enough staff parking. They struggle to recruit as it is. People will just get fed up and go elsewhere.

"It's not just staff but a lot of patients in our department have mentioned it. Even with 270 more spaces it might not be enough. I've heard there are hundreds of staff on the waiting list. "

Other hospital workers have contacted the News & Star with similar complaints, several of who have received parking fines.

A Facebook page - called Staff Parking Crisis at Cumberland Infirmary - has also been set up and now has 500 followers.