ONE sure sign that summer is on its way to Oxford is the official opening of the Hinksey Heated Outdoor Pool.

Swimmers are wiping off their goggles and costumes for one of the city’s best-loved summer attractions.

The Lake Street pool, off Abingdon Road, has seen a huge rise in visitor number over the past five years and organisers hope this year will be no different.

More than 47,000 people used the Oxford City Council pool in 2012/13 compared with 33,662 in 2008/9.

The pool reopens for family fun on Friday, May 2, and it will close on Sunday, September 28.

This year the site will have more space for sunbathing and will open from 7am-7pm Monday to Friday and 8am-7pm at the weekend.

There will also be a member’s only swim from 8am-9am at the weekends.

Swimmers who fancy an evening dip will be able to use the pool until 8pm from May 26 to August 24.

Season tickets are £136 for adults, £69 for children under 17 and over 60s and £264 for families are available from all city leisure centres.

There will also be an open day at the pool on Saturday, May 3.

Swimmers with an Oxford Bus Company ticket will get free entry all day and entry will be free for all after 2pm.

Council board member for leisure services Mike Rowley said: “We are looking forward to the opening of Hinksey Pool. It is a popular venue in the summer months, if we get good weather. Fingers crossed for this year.”

Visitors to council leisure facilities rose 40 per cent in the past five years to 1.3m a year since social enterprise Fusion Lifestyle took over their management.

This was extended in February for another five years after 2019.

The deal, for Ferry Leisure Centre, Oxford Ice Rink, Barton Leisure Centre, Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre and Blackbird Leys Pool, Temple Cowley Pools and Fitness Centre and Hinksey Heated Outdoor Pool, is expected to generate £4.25m for the council.