COMMENT: Council needs to sit up and take notice of traders’ plight

The Oxford Times: COMMENT: Council needs to sit up and take notice of traders’ plight COMMENT: Council needs to sit up and take notice of traders’ plight

THE initial plight of traders in St Clement’s this Christmas, following the redevelopment of the car park there into student flats, was predictable.

It is also a worrying sign for the future.

The argument over building flats at the old car park, a handy little facility for those wanting to shop at the local stores or go to the pubs around The Plain, is lost.

But what is not resolved is the problem over the parking “solution” – a temporary car park in Marston Road with a free bus.

On the evidence of our eyes it’s not working. And the traders are saying they have already seen business dropping away.

Oxford City Council’s response that no one has raised any issues with it and overall everyone will be better off in the long term is at best lackadaisical.

For traders, there might not be a long-term future.

We would hope this relaxed attitude is not a portent of the council’s view when it comes to redeveloping the Westgate and the temporary car park planned for that.

We need reassurances the council recognises that during these periods of short-term pain that it will cater as best it can for those shoppers who like to drive cars – as ethically shocking as this may be.

Local businesses depend on it.

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