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Traders hit out as true cost of parking hikes revealed
THE true cost of a hike in parking fees in Oxford has been revealed.
But a breakdown of how this average increase will be spread out across each car park shows rises will be 10 per cent or over at a few sites.
The council has, broadly, put an increase of 10p for an hour’s parking at the majority of its car parks.
At Westgate, Oxpens and Abbey Place car parks, weekday charges will increase from £2.40 for up to an hour to £2.50, up four per cent.
At Gloucester Green and Worcester Street car parks, the price will increase from £3.10 for up to an hour to £3.20, up more than three per cent.
And at Union Street car park, off Cowley Road, drivers will have to pay £1.10 to park for up to an hour, a 10 per cent rise from the current £1.
It comes despite traders voicing concern over a reduction in spaces at nearby St Clement,s car park while a four-block 140-room student housing development is built on the site.
Aziz Rahman, owner of restaurant Aziz in Cowley Road, said: “It is a time to encourage people to come and spend money in these sorts of areas, not discourage them.
“This will only discourage them from coming to East Oxford.”
Gary Smith, owner of the Truck Store in Cowley Road and Rapture in Witney, said: “I think shoppers need as much encouragement to come shopping as possible.
“Putting car parking charges up puts them off.”
Clinton Pugh, owner of Cafe Tarifa, Kazbar and Cafe Coco in Cowley Road, said: “I think increasing car parking gives the wrong message.
“I think generally it would be more helpful to bring car parking charges down.”
Parking at Westgate, Oxpens and Abbey Place for more than two hours on a Saturday will cost £6.10, when next door at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College all-day parking costs £5.
Christian Lucy, business manager for SweetFE, the college’s company, said there had not been any discussions about increasing the price of parking.
Ed Turner, deputy leader of Oxford City Council, said: “We have frozen city car park charges in recent years. This is the first increase in a number of years.
“It is unwelcome. We didn’t want to have to do this but it is a sign of the times.”
The charges are expected to kick in next month but Mr Turner said he did not know the exact date.