A hospital chief is being asked to carry out an urgent review on a £100,000 parking scheme after a retired magistrate said he was appalled by the system.

Eric Sunderland, who retired from the bench last year, was threatened with clamping after he parked outside a ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary to bring his 76-year-old wife Irene home.

Mr Sunderland, 70, who lives in Allerton, said he used the space for a short time without getting a pay-and-display ticket because he did not want to take his wife across the car park in sleet, heavy hail and snow when she had only just been discharged.

He said: "I was very angry indeed when I came outside and saw a notice had been pinned to it threatening clamping. I was also informed that my registration number would be placed on a computer and the clamping would take place immediately if I parked without paying in future."

Mr Sunderland said he was also shocked that a number of nurses had told him they were angry because their vehicles had been clamped.

"They are working on shifts covering 24-hours and I don't think this should happen under any circumstances."

Mr Sunderland said he would be contacting the chairman of the NHS Hospitals Trust, Linda Pollard, immediately about the scheme, which the Trust launched last year to end parking chaos at the hospital.

Motorists are charged 70p for five hours and £1.20 for the full day.

Mr Sunderland said: "That system in itself is wrong and ties parking spaces up for long periods when other people are denied spaces if they only want to come for a short time."

He said free spaces were vital beside the hospital wards for people who were being picked up after being discharged. "I was actually saving the cost of an ambulance but I have been treated in this disgraceful fashion."

Mr Sunderland said his wife had received excellent care when she was admitted to the hospital with blood poisoning but that he had decided to book an ambulance for her return to outpatients because of what had happened.

A spokesman for Bradford Hospital NHS Trust said: "Our parking police has been developed to ensure that emergency services such as ambulances and fire engines have access around the site at all times.

"Recent improvements have included the creation of extra spaces for disabled people and extra short stay spaces where motorists can park for free for 20 minutes. Clamping is very much a last resort and there are many notices warning motorists of this."

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