Warn people about parks car charging

William Sabel, left, Mike Gotch and city councillor Jean Fooks pictured in September protesting about the new parking charges at Cutteslowe Park

William Sabel, left, Mike Gotch and city councillor Jean Fooks pictured in September protesting about the new parking charges at Cutteslowe Park

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by

EXTRA signs may be put up warning park users about parking charges after motorists received more than £17,000 in fines.

In September last year, Oxford City Council started charging users of attractions such as Cutteslowe Park and Alexandra Court for parking.

The charges were brought in to raise cash for the authority, but residents of neighbouring streets say drivers are clogging up their neighbourhoods to avoid the parking fees.

In September, the council’s city executive board agreed to carry on with the policy after revenue of £76,604 was made from charges.

There was also £17,920 raised from fines in the first year.

But their decision was challenged, and at a meeting of the value and performance scrutiny committee last week the call for clarity was made.

Committee chairman Mark Mills, a Lib Dem councillor who called the original decision in, said: “The suggestion was, given the large amount of money that has come in from fines, people were clearly missing the fact they had to pay and it needed to be clearer.”

He said the “call-in” of the executive board’s decision had failed because Labour, the governing party, had a majority on his committee.

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He said: “They argued that the issue had already been looked at by the city executive board, which is true, but we didn’t feel the monitoring of the situation had been good enough.”

The Lib Dem group has also renewed its call for one hour of free parking for dog walkers using the sites.

Group leader Jean Fooks said: “If you allowed people to park for one hour for free that would help a lot of people like dog walkers, who don’t tend to park for very long.

“The council would make the vast amount of money from people staying a lot longer.

“We want to be encouraging people to use the park.”

The free hour suggestion was rejected by city executive board member for city development Colin Cook.

But he said the call for more signs at the parks would be considered.

He said: “I think we can certainly consider it but I suspect we are already compliant with the legal requirement for signs. I also think some of these areas are quite sensitive, so you don’t want to be cluttering them up with signs.

“I also think a lot of the fines are as a result of people chancing it, and so the number of fines should go down in time.”

Harbord Road Residents’ Association secretary Suzanne McIvor said residents favoured scrapping the scheme altogether.

She said: “From our point of view the ideal situation would be to have no parking charges at all, because it does cause serious problems.”

Comments (7)

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6:10pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

If people are intelligent enough to drive a car and passed the sight test then they must be able to see the big sign and pay point pictured above. I hope Jean is not discriminating against non-dog walkers with her free parking. And to Harbord Road Residents’ Association secretary Suzanne McIvor who said residents favoured scrapping the scheme altogether, of course you would say thay, as you used it as a private car park for the third vehicle in your household instead of paying for a dropped kerb so that The X 5 could be parked off road at your expense. If this car park is generating money for the residents of Oxford, then it only has to be a good thing. But how about charging for cycle parking as well, as it costs us money to provide the facilities.
If people are intelligent enough to drive a car and passed the sight test then they must be able to see the big sign and pay point pictured above. I hope Jean is not discriminating against non-dog walkers with her free parking. And to Harbord Road Residents’ Association secretary Suzanne McIvor who said residents favoured scrapping the scheme altogether, of course you would say thay, as you used it as a private car park for the third vehicle in your household instead of paying for a dropped kerb so that The X 5 could be parked off road at your expense. If this car park is generating money for the residents of Oxford, then it only has to be a good thing. But how about charging for cycle parking as well, as it costs us money to provide the facilities. Pavinder Msvarensy
  • Score: -66

6:15pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

R.E. My dropped kerb comment. Average house price Harbord Road £620,000, maybe that is why they need FREE parking.
R.E. My dropped kerb comment. Average house price Harbord Road £620,000, maybe that is why they need FREE parking. Pavinder Msvarensy
  • Score: -59

6:53pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Silverghost says...

A Templar road resident
We constantly have BMW's and 4x4's parked with young families getting out --Footballers from all stars with their Mum's or Dad's -- and dog walkers and tennis players parked and fighting for places on a sunny day makes it very difficult for residents to have visitors or even unload their own shopping and for the less able to get to their transport
A Templar road resident We constantly have BMW's and 4x4's parked with young families getting out --Footballers from all stars with their Mum's or Dad's -- and dog walkers and tennis players parked and fighting for places on a sunny day makes it very difficult for residents to have visitors or even unload their own shopping and for the less able to get to their transport Silverghost
  • Score: -1

2:58am Thu 15 Nov 12

Myron Blatz says...

Is it my imagination, or did the Oxford Mail use the same photo in an article about high speed trains? As for parking issues, maybe CPZ (controlled parking zone) really is the only solution for a nation which hws become dominated by the motor car - and its driver!
Is it my imagination, or did the Oxford Mail use the same photo in an article about high speed trains? As for parking issues, maybe CPZ (controlled parking zone) really is the only solution for a nation which hws become dominated by the motor car - and its driver! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

7:23am Thu 15 Nov 12

davyboy says...

why do they need more signs? if people can't see the current signage, and the machine, then tough. however, maybe the idea of the first hour free is a good idea, because many just want to walk dogs, or take kids for a wander. the council wants us to use the open space, yet charges us for doing so. any scheme like this needs wardens to monitor it, so that £17,000 has probably been used for the wardens salary, unless that is profit after any deductions! parking areas at parks should be for park users, not locals as a free extra space! if you don't have enough space for all your cars at your own home, get rid of some!
why do they need more signs? if people can't see the current signage, and the machine, then tough. however, maybe the idea of the first hour free is a good idea, because many just want to walk dogs, or take kids for a wander. the council wants us to use the open space, yet charges us for doing so. any scheme like this needs wardens to monitor it, so that £17,000 has probably been used for the wardens salary, unless that is profit after any deductions! parking areas at parks should be for park users, not locals as a free extra space! if you don't have enough space for all your cars at your own home, get rid of some! davyboy
  • Score: 0

11:48am Thu 15 Nov 12

oafie says...

But ...roads are also public highways and do not in fact belong to the householders.If there are sapces to park then why should people not use them.
But ...roads are also public highways and do not in fact belong to the householders.If there are sapces to park then why should people not use them. oafie
  • Score: 1

5:12pm Thu 15 Nov 12

EMBOX1 says...

Why not get rid of Oxford City, SODC, WHVDC and Cherwell DC? That would save squillions of pounds annually.
Why not get rid of Oxford City, SODC, WHVDC and Cherwell DC? That would save squillions of pounds annually. EMBOX1
  • Score: 0

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