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East Oxford residents braced for impact of controlled parking zone
RESIDENTS last night warned they were bracing themselves to see how controversial parking restrictions would work in East Oxford.
Controlled parking was brought into the Magdalen Road area yesterday after a five-year debate about the issue.
Before and after pictures taken by the Oxford Mail show the new residents-only rules have already created more space in the area north of Magdalen Road.
But in Magdalen Road and the streets to the south – which are not covered by the restrictions – traders and residents feared the squeeze on parking would only get worse.
Amar Latif, of Warwick Street, which is outside the new controlled parking zone (CPZ), said he feared motorists would now park in nearby roads such as his.
He said: “There will be a knock on effect. It is a shame the council uses controlled parking zones as its only tool against commuter parking because it just pushes the problem elsewhere.
“I think it is important that residents in the area who have campaigned for a CPZ tell their neighbours they have a moral obligation not to park outside the zone.”
Sam Diliberto, who runs Giovanni’s barber shop in Magdalen Road, said: “I didn’t see any need for a CPZ in this area but by having one nearby it will create a problem.
“It will have an impact on our business. I have already had clients come up to me and ask where they will park.”
A plan for a Magdalen Road CPZ was first put forward by Oxfordshire County Council in 2007 and it split the community in two.
In response to public concern the county council decided splitting the community in two was the only way forward – and created the Magdalen Road North and Magdalen Road South zones.
A series of consultations and budget cuts delayed the planned CPZ.
Plans for the Magdalen Road South CPZ were put off earlier this year because of public protests and the county council decided to wait six months before making a decision.
The most recent consultations in the Magdalen Road North area showed 73 per cent of residents were in favour of a CPZ.
Hurst Street resident Anthony Cheke welcomed the new zone in his road. He said: “It is a bit early to say whether there has been an effect yet.
“I was always strongly in favour of having the controlled parking zone. The parking situation had become absolutely terrible.
“The problem is primarily down to student housing. In this street the amount of student housing must be up to 40 per cent or more and some of those houses must have 10 students in them.”
Two weeks ago the Divinity Road CPZ came into force as part of the same scheme, which was funded to the tune of £257,000 by Oxford University as part of an agreement to extend its Old Road campus site.
In total, implementing all three zones would cost £291,000.
Elizabeth Mills, of Divinity Road, said: “It has already had a really very good impact on car parking in our area and it is already showing promise.”
Rodney Rose, the county council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “If there is a problem with displacement what we can do is implement the controlled parking zone in Magdalen Road South.
“It is still an option and if there is a problem, as we projected all along there would be, the residents can grab that solution now.
“Parking in the area needed some proper control. There are not enough parking spaces in these Victorian streets. I don’t know of another way of solving the problem.”
Permits, costing £50, can be obtained in person at the county council’s Parking Shop in Speedwell Street. The first 25 are free to each resident but the second 25 cost £16.
Only two permits per property will be made available.
For details about the new zone, contact 0845 634 4466.