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St Clement’s traders fear bleak Christmas trade
7:00am Friday 6th December 2013 in News
TRADERS in St Clement’s say they are facing a bleak Christmas, with a 70-space car park and free bus service being ignored by shoppers.
The temporary car park in Marston Road was created to ease the plight of businesses hit by building work on the busy St Clement’s car park, where student accommodation is being built.
But traders say the deserted car park has confirmed their worst fears, with businesses seeing customer numbers drop by up to a third.
Traders say shoppers are either still unaware of the temporary car park because of lack of signs, or simply staying away because it is too inconvenient.
The car park opposite the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies was proposed by developers, after traders claimed they could be forced out of business through the loss of parking spaces at the St Clement’s car park.
Cafe Coco said it would only be opening from Thursday to Sundays, with the loss of five jobs, because of the fall off in trade. Owner Clinton Pugh estimated the drop in custom had cost the cafe £40,000.
Only five vehicles were parked in the Marston Road car park at 1pm on Tuesday, with three there at 4pm, despite the offer of free parking for up two hours, with free bus journeys for shoppers to St Clement’s.
City council spokesman Christopher Lee said the temporary car park had been set up after local consultation.
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