THE reasons behind the surprise closure of the car park at Cirencester Hospital by the Dowager Countess Bathurst last autumn have still yet to be made clear.

Doctors and nurses at the hospital were left scouring the streets for parking spaces in October after the Dowager reportedly refused to renew the lease on the car park.

Less than a week after the Standard published the story, the Dowager performed a bizarre u-turn and said that the car park would reopen, with ticket machines and barriers, in the near future.

Speaking at the time, a spokesman for the Dowager said: “The car park will be reopening in the near future after renovations. It was never to be closed permanently, just taken back in hand by the Dowager to be administered properly.”

However, since October the gravel topped car park, located just metres from the hospital entrance, has remained closed with no sign of any improvement work having taken place.

The Standard approached the Dowager’s office for an update on the work but was told that no comment would be made.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, which owns the hospital, confirmed that there has been no communication between the two parties as to when the car park might reopen.

In the four months since the closure, the Trust has acquired and resurfaced a replacement car park on another site at the hospital that is free for all staff to use.