OXFORDSHIRE’S first new park-and-ride for more than a decade was approved yesterday.

The 580-space car park will be built just outside Bicester to help alleviate traffic into the town.

County councillor David Nimmo Smith, cabinet member for transport, said he hoped it would be open in time for Christmas.

He added: “Anything which might take cars off the road has got to be encouraged. If you go to Bicester at the wrong time of day you will struggle to find a parking space.”

The facility will be off the A41 and will take passengers between Oxford and Bicester as well as to the town’s Bicester Village shopping centre.

It is part of £11m plans to combat congestion on the A41 and Oxford Road at the junction for the shopping centre.

It would be used by the S5 Stagecoach bus from Bicester to Oxford.