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Traders divided over new parking permits
OXFORD’S latest residents’ parking permit scheme has met with a mixed reaction from traders just outside the new zone.
Some said the Magdalen Road system had pushed parking into their area, reducing the number of spaces.
But one trader said new short-stay spaces in Oxfordshire County Council’s new controlled parking zone (CPZ) was leading to a higher turnover of cars.
The zone was introduced in November over concerns that shoppers and commuters were parking on streets all day.
On Monday the Oxford Mail reported residents just outside the zone are split over whether they should also get the £50-a-year permit scheme.
The Magdalen Road (North) CPZ covers roads between, but not including, Bullingdon Road and Magdalen Road.
Hertford Street barber Dennis Pratley, 64, who took his anti-CPZ protest to County Hall in 2011 when the scheme was first being discussed, said it had always been difficult to park nearby and fewer spaces in the new zone had made the problem worse.
He said: “I am dead against the CPZ. It is another tax on the motorists and it isn’t working. It makes it more difficult for people to come in and park, more difficult for people to see their families, difficult for businesses to do repairs and building work.”
Deki Dakar, manager of the Magic Cafe in Magdalen Road, said: “They used to be able to park, but now it is restricted and customers have to park about 15 minutes away and walk to the cafe.”
But she said the answer was not to introduce a similar scheme in her area, known as Magdalen Road (South).
She said: “There are enough restrictions around the area.”
But Stuart Silvester, 46, who runs Magdalen Road hardware shop Silvesters Stores with father Bert, said his fears had not been realised.
He said: “We have short term parking now which is working out a lot better for getting deliveries.”
Simon Davies, owner of the Inner Bookshop in Magdalen Road, said the impact of the new zone was hard to gauge.
He said of declining trade: “It is difficult to say whether it is the weather, the recession, difficulties in the book trade – there are many many things that it could be. It is a problem and it would be a bigger problem if they do extend it further.”
Deputy county council leader Rodney Rose said: “There was a very big risk of displaced parking moving into Magdalen Road south.”
He said a CPZ scheme in the south could make life easier for traders. Mr Rose said: “A CPZ in Magdalen Road south would have time- limited bays that would then suit the visitors to businesses.”