Long-awaited pay-on-exit barriers promised by Carlisle hospital bosses are now in place - but will not be operational for at least another month.

It is hoped the measures will put an end to high-profile parking problems at the Cumberland Infirmary.

At present the hospital car parks have a pay and display system, and are policed by private firm UKPC.

This has resulted in high numbers of complaints from patients and families who have received parking fines while undergoing treatment or supporting relatives.

Hospital chief executive Stephen Eames has long promised to install a pay-on-exit barrier.

This would mean motorists wouldn't have to worry about having change for the meter, and could pay at the end of their visit.

But although the barriers are now installed, they are not yet operational.

The North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has yet to confirm an exact date for the launch, but it is likely to be December.

Bosses had previously said the barriers would be in place by the end of October.

The trust stressed that the installation had gone to schedule, but they could not start using them until other work was complete.

This includes the resurfacing one of the hospital's staff car park.

A trust spokesman said: “The parking barriers have been installed and we are finalising their implementation while further work takes place around the hospital.

"Our aim is to ensure there is minimum disruption for our patients and staff.

"We will confirm a date for the launch of the barriers in the coming weeks.”

The barrier system will be installed in the main patient and visitor car park and the accident and emergency car park.

Staff car parks will not have barriers, but will be clearly defined.

The new system will mean that people can also pay by credit and debit cards.

Disabled parking has already moved to the back of the hospital, close to disablement services and the pharmacy.

The trust said it has been listening to patient and visitor comments on how the car parks can be improved.