COMMUNITY leaders have called for free parking as the final plans to complete Bicester’s £70m town centre regeneration were approved.
Cherwell District Council has given the go ahead to a £6.5m five-storey civic building, which will house its Bicester office, a new library, a 53-bedroom Travelodge Hotel, office and retail or restaurant units on Franklins Yard car park, which will close.
Both the Chamber of Commerce and independent Councillor Les Sibley renewed a call for free parking to be introduced across the town.
Acting chairman of Bicester and District Chamber of Commerce Ben Jackson said: “The completion of the town centre development with the community building will create a destination and draw visitors through.
“To maximise the investment a harmonised parking offer is needed across the town centre, one that is consistent and encourages customers to dwell longer and visit all areas of the town — three hours complimentary at all short stays would make Bicester comparable with other local centres.”
Cllr Sibley said: “The council is prepared to give up parking spaces for the community building and lose revenue, so why not help out businesses on the other side of the town centre.
“I would like to see the same Sainsbury’s parking policy rolled out across the town.”
Work will start this summer on the regeneration and should take about a year.
12:40pm Monday 5th October 2015
A FATHER accused of shaking his 11-week-old baby to death has been cleared of murder.
1:21pm Monday 5th October 2015
The brother of Oxford United striker James Roberts has died after being involved in a car accident on Saturday night.
12:03pm Monday 5th October 2015
THE A34 in South Hinksey is currently partially blocked due to a broken down tipper-truck.
11:50am Monday 5th October 2015
PARTS of Oxfordshire are due to be hit by heavy rain later today, according to the Met Office. A severe weather warning has been issued by the agency for the South East, which will be in place from 12pm until 10pm today. It has been forecast that some areas will see more than 15 mm of rain in an hour, with overall totals more than 40 mm in several hours. Small patches of localised flooding and disruptions to transport are also possible. A Met Office spokesman said: "A very complex area of low pressure will bring warm, moist air northwards into Britain. There is a developing signal for heavy rain to affect some southeastern parts of England later on Monday. "Some minor disruption due to flooding is likely, with an additional risk of some very isolated more substantial impacts."
8:30am Monday 5th October 2015
A FAMILY stole thousands of pounds of benefits from a man with severe learning disabilities while forcing him to do menial and manual labour for £5 a day, a court heard.
7:00am Monday 5th October 2015
GREY pavements will be transformed with striking street art as one woman hopes to chalk up yet another successful art event this weekend.