BOATERS want a car park ripped up in order to reinstate the historic route of the Oxford canal.

The waterway has been blocked off at Hythe Bridge Street since the 1950s when what was once the old wharf and basin was bricked over to create the Worcester Street car park.

But writer Richard MacKenzie, who lives on the canal with his family, has now called for this 'eyesore' to be demolished so that the old section of canal could be restored.

He says it would create visitor moorings and a wharf which could 'prettify' the area and attract tourists and boaters alike.

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Writing on his blog 'Alt Dad', Mr MacKenzie wrote: "Obviously I am not suggesting that we should knock down Nuffield College, but Oxford, my home city, could stand with losing the eyesore which is this car-park.

"How amazing would it be to welcome boats back to this area with a decent size winding hole and visitor moorings within the basin?

"My opinion is that it would really prettify the area and would be great for tourists and boaters alike."

At the canal's current terminus, large amount of silt and grass have built up, restricting the ability for boats to manoeuvre.

At the moment, anyone reaching Hythe Bridge Street by boat has no choice but to turn around and go back from where they have come from.

Two further bridges used to exist called Hythe Bridge 244 and Worcester St Bridge 245 and the remains of the Hythe Bridge can still be seen in the brickwork from the car park.

The Oxford Times:

They were both created in the late 1700s but fell victim to the vast reduction in canal usage as more goods were taken by road and rail instead.

Mr MacKenzie has conceded any project to open up the canal again would be vast in terms of cost and amount of work but the scheme appears to be gathering some traction online.

Steve Baines commented that he has always believed the reintroduction of a canal basin could be a 'brilliant addition to the city.'

While Tony Clayton wrote: "It would be great for boaters coming to Oxford – the end of the canal looks forgotten and sad. It should be a destination, not a dead end."

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has also shown an interest, re-tweeting Mr MacKenzie's appeal.

But car drivers would find it hard to stomach the loss of yet more car parking places in the city centre.

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Earlier this month the Oxpens car park was reduced from 420 places to 179 after decking was removed following the opening of the Westgate Centre.

In July, Worcester Street was revealed as the car park where drivers were most likely to face fines with the council collecting £141,718.29 from 3,280 tickets issued.

During consultation for the Central Oxford Conservation Area last year, experts described Worcester Street car park as an ‘ugly void in the townscape’.

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The same document also criticised the design of Gloucester Green, describing it as ‘divorced from the city centre’.