Plans to improve the number plate recognition parking scheme at the Royal Bolton Hospital have been approved by the council.

An automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) parking system is already in place for parking at much of the hospital, however, this will now be expanded to cover all 2,565 spaces at the trust site.

The parking system is run by ParkingEye and iFM, who say they are looking to reduce the “amount of abuse” of parking spaces that they say currently occurs at the hospital site.

Planning agent Jaden Fish said: “ParkingEye propose to expand on a car park management system on an existing car park owned by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust which utilises automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) and associated signage to monitor the entrance and exit of vehicles within the specified car parks.

“The proposal seeks to provide management of the existing car park to reduce car park abuse and ensure that spaces are available for genuine site users.”

The expansion of the parking system would require an extra two payment kiosks, three pole mounted cameras, and eight barriers along with other parking infrastructure. Cameras will cover the entire Royal Bolton Hospital site.

ParkingEye believe the expanded infrastructure will have a positive impact, and will not detriment the look of the area.

Making parking more “effective” and less susceptible to “abuse” by tracking number plates that use the car park were the main reasons given for these plans.

Mr Fish added: “The proposal will ensure the existing car park is used more effectively and reduce the amount of abuse that currently occurs.”

Ward councillor Sue Haworth said: “I am regularly contacted by residents about the roads around the site. When the planning application was published I made enquiries with the iFM limited company of the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust as the company has responsibility for car parking on the NHS site as I needed to better understand the layout plans.

“It was clear there was an aim to improve car parking and vehicle movement for their patients and visitors and in particular around Redgate Way including much needed improvement for very regular patient attendance at the renal unit.”

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has been approached for a comment.