Parking problems split opinions across Oxford

Warwick Street resident Dr Amar Latif says the new Magdalen Road North CPZ has just pushed parking problems into Iffley Fields

Warwick Street resident Dr Amar Latif says the new Magdalen Road North CPZ has just pushed parking problems into Iffley Fields

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

PERHAPS no issue has done more to upset the harmony of Oxford’s suburbs than parking.

The rolling out of Oxfordshire County Council’s controlled parking zones has led to protests, packed public meetings and frayed nerves.

At the end of this month, a new controlled parking zone – or CPZ – will be introduced in Cutteslowe, North Oxford, after being in the pipeline for around two years.

Meanwhile the people of Cowley and Iffley Fields are calling on the county council to take action to rid their streets of those meddling cars.

Maybe the most notorious example of community disharmony caused by the introduction of CPZs was in East Oxford, where it took the county council more than five years to actually implement its proposals.

One of the most contro-versial aspects of CPZs is that their critics claim they don’t actually solve the problem – they simply push it to nearby streets.

Commuters and shoppers who last week parked in one street seem to have no qualms in moving to a different street across the road the next week.

This is what residents in Iffley Fields are struggling to come to terms with as they carry out surveys into the increasing amount of commuter parking in their area.

And residents say it is down to the introduction of the Magdalen North CPZ in late 2012, which has simply pushed the parking problem across Iffley Road.

In Cowley, a similar survey is being carried out because of the increasing problem of people leaving their cars in the Barns Road area and then catching the bus into Oxford.

Dr Amar Latif, of Warwick Street, Iffley Fields, says the county council’s long-term goal seems to be the roll-out of CPZs across Oxford.

He said: “We have done a residents’ survey which shows that everyone has recognised that there has been an increase in parking problems since the scheme across the road was introduced.

“It is becoming unbearable because roads are being blocked off and people who live here cannot find spaces to park. For the elderly and people with children, parking reasonably close to home is quite important.

“The council has been quite rigid in what it is prepared to do but each area has its own local differences and what we need to do is make sure the issues in our area are addressed.

“Otherwise you’re trying to get a round peg into a square hole.”

A CPZ can divide a community. On one hand, it can free up parking spaces for people who actually do live in the area. On the other, the charges can be seen as unfair, with a knock-on effect on businesses.

Hertford Street barber Dennis Pratley, of Dennis W Pratley, was part of the successful campaign against the Magdalen Road South CPZ.

It was shelved last year.

He said: “It was one size fits all and the council didn’t want to listen to what the residents wanted. It would have affected everybody’s business.”

According to latest census figures, there are more than 51,600 cars on the road in Oxford city.

Some areas of Oxford – which is the only part of the county where CPZs are used – are now almost completely covered by residents-only parking restrictions.

One of these areas is Headington, where there are some six CPZs already in force.

Patrick Coulter lives in Headington West B and is chairman of community group Headington Action. He says most people in the area are pretty happy with them because they put a stop to commuter parking.

He said: “There are some parts of Headington where they don’t have them, in Headington Quarry, because they have resisted but certainly around the hospitals we are quite happy with them, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to park.

“They were introduced about 10 or 12 years ago and the pressure on parking was just starting to grow.”

County council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “I think we will always try to work with people to see what options are available, but ultimately if there is a parking issue there have to be restrictions to prevent parking by non-residents and that allow residents to park there.

“A CPZ seems to do a good job and it is very difficult to find a solution that prevents parking and at the same time protects the ability of residents to park.

“If people have suggestions we would always listen to them. I have been through many CPZ processes when I was cabinet member for transport and I would listen to concerns but it is difficult to get a balance.”

He denied that the council was trying to roll CPZs out across Oxford: “The council’s policy is to try and find parking solutions that best suit the local area.

“If you look back at the history of CPZs they are rolled out because there have been parking problems in a particular area.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Protesters demonstrating against the Magdalen Road CPZ plans outside County Hall in 2012

The story of the three controlled parking zones in East Oxford sums up how controversial these measures can be.

It took Oxfordshire County Council five years from when a proposal was first put forward to when an agreement was reached and parking restrictions were implemented.

A plan for a Magdalen Road CPZ was first put forward by the county council in 2007 and it split the community in two.

In response to public concern the county council decided splitting the community in two was the only way forward – and created the Magdalen Road North and Magdalen Road South zones.

A series of consultations and budget cuts delayed the planned CPZ, but the Magdalen Road North CPZ was eventually approved in October 2012 at the same time as the Divinity Road CPZ ,which had become tied up in this controversy.

When they were approved there were protests outside County Hall and the meeting was filled with campaigners. Plans for the Magdalen Road South CPZ were put off because of public protests and the county council decided to wait six months before making a decision.

In November 2013 – six years after the proposals were first put forward – the county council agreed there was “little demand” for a CPZ south of Magdalen Road and shelved the scheme.

Within a controlled parking zone, cars must be parked in marked bays – unless they are parked in drives.

Only people who live within a zone can buy a permit – at a cost of £50 a year.

The number of permits a property can buy is limited but varies from zone to zone.

Residents can also use visitors’ permits, which last for 24 hours, but the number available to each property is capped at 50.

The first 25 are free but the second set of 25 costs £16.

Any cars that are caught parked illegally are issued with a £60 ticket,reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Oxford Mail:

  • Protesters handing in a petition to the city council against a parking scheme in 1996

At the moment the only controlled parking zones in the county are in Oxford. They are:

  • Central Area A (between St Giles and Beaumont Street)
  • Central Area B (around Frideswide Square)
  • Central Area C (north of High Street)
  • Central Area D (west of St Giles)
  • Cutteslowe (being introduced this month)
  • Divinity Road
  • East Oxford
  • Elms Road
  • Girdlestone Road
  • Headington Central
  • Headington Northeast
  • Headington Quarry
  • Headington West A (north of London Road)
  • Headington West B (south of London Road)
  • Jericho s Magdalen North
  • Marston South
  • Norham Manor
  • North Oxford
  • North Summertown
  • Northway
  • South Oxford
  • Summertown
  • Walton Manor
  • Waterside
  • West Oxford
  • The Lakes

The following zones are around the Kassam Stadium and only enforced on Sundays and match days:

  • Blackbird Leys West
  • Brake Hill s Fry’s Hill
  • Minchery Farm

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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

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Comments (14)

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6:05pm Thu 28 Aug 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

“If people have suggestions we would always listen to them. I have been through many CPZ processes when I was cabinet member for transport and I would listen to concerns but it is difficult to get a balance.”
What a load of tosh. 85% of residents on Blackbird Leys voted against the scheme and what did 'I know it all Hudspeth ' do, went against their wishes and brought it in. Not only that it's only in force during match days but they still charge the same as all the other CPZ areas! Just a money making exercise.
“If people have suggestions we would always listen to them. I have been through many CPZ processes when I was cabinet member for transport and I would listen to concerns but it is difficult to get a balance.” What a load of tosh. 85% of residents on Blackbird Leys voted against the scheme and what did 'I know it all Hudspeth ' do, went against their wishes and brought it in. Not only that it's only in force during match days but they still charge the same as all the other CPZ areas! Just a money making exercise. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 1

6:36pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

The Divinity Road CPZ has been a fantastic success. Until 2012 most sensible people avoided driving up or down Divinity or Southfield Roads at all costs.

But now, it's been opened up as a magnificent cross-town boulevard allowing swift (well 20mph) transit across East Oxford. This evening I drove down Divinity, along Hill-Top and down Southfield at 17:30 without needing to stop. Fantastic - and all thanks to the work of the East Oxford Residents Association.

Further CPZs in East Oxford will cut back on parking and make it even easier to dodge between Cowley Road & Iffley Roads. They are also great for anyone who has off-street parking in East Oxford. Off-street parking can be sold for £30-£50 a week whilst the resident parks on the street with their permits.
The Divinity Road CPZ has been a fantastic success. Until 2012 most sensible people avoided driving up or down Divinity or Southfield Roads at all costs. But now, it's been opened up as a magnificent cross-town boulevard allowing swift (well 20mph) transit across East Oxford. This evening I drove down Divinity, along Hill-Top and down Southfield at 17:30 without needing to stop. Fantastic - and all thanks to the work of the East Oxford Residents Association. Further CPZs in East Oxford will cut back on parking and make it even easier to dodge between Cowley Road & Iffley Roads. They are also great for anyone who has off-street parking in East Oxford. Off-street parking can be sold for £30-£50 a week whilst the resident parks on the street with their permits. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

7:33pm Thu 28 Aug 14

cowley bob says...

The real issue is developers being allowed to build rabbit hutches without a run(garden/parking) This has been going on for 40yr's now, i live in Temple Cowley,we have terraced houses built nearly 100yr's ago(before car ownership) that are now 5 room hmo's. The blame is clearly with the council.
The real issue is developers being allowed to build rabbit hutches without a run(garden/parking) This has been going on for 40yr's now, i live in Temple Cowley,we have terraced houses built nearly 100yr's ago(before car ownership) that are now 5 room hmo's. The blame is clearly with the council. cowley bob
  • Score: 4

9:25pm Thu 28 Aug 14

train passenger says...

It's all about pricing. £50 a a year is ridiculously cheap. In fact I think that all parking in Oxford, including the City Centre is underpriced. Parking zones only make matters worse and there are far too many. In parts of orth Oxford in particular (Norham Manor?) they are primarily intended to keep strangers out. Space aplenty there but nobody is allowed to use it.
It's all about pricing. £50 a a year is ridiculously cheap. In fact I think that all parking in Oxford, including the City Centre is underpriced. Parking zones only make matters worse and there are far too many. In parts of orth Oxford in particular (Norham Manor?) they are primarily intended to keep strangers out. Space aplenty there but nobody is allowed to use it. train passenger
  • Score: 2

10:34pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Pianissimo says...

County Council leader Ian Hudspeth says “If you look back at the history of CPZs they are rolled out because there have been parking problems in a particular area.”

His grasp of history is shaky. As in Blackbird Leys, there were no problems in the north Summertown area, but a CPZ was introduced there nevertheless. One suspects the main motive was to put money in the council's coffers, not to help local residents at all.
County Council leader Ian Hudspeth says “If you look back at the history of CPZs they are rolled out because there have been parking problems in a particular area.” His grasp of history is shaky. As in Blackbird Leys, there were no problems in the north Summertown area, but a CPZ was introduced there nevertheless. One suspects the main motive was to put money in the council's coffers, not to help local residents at all. Pianissimo
  • Score: 4

7:23am Fri 29 Aug 14

the wizard says...

OCC (Hudspeth & Co) Run a County, you're having a laugh, they couldn't run a bath.
OCC (Hudspeth & Co) Run a County, you're having a laugh, they couldn't run a bath. the wizard
  • Score: 4

7:58am Fri 29 Aug 14

Sisca17 says...

Perhaps it would help to alleviate the problem in some areas if the Park and Rides were made free again, and expanded (or more built) to cope with demand.
Perhaps it would help to alleviate the problem in some areas if the Park and Rides were made free again, and expanded (or more built) to cope with demand. Sisca17
  • Score: 1

9:00am Fri 29 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

Sisca17 wrote:
Perhaps it would help to alleviate the problem in some areas if the Park and Rides were made free again, and expanded (or more built) to cope with demand.
I agree - there are no reason that the park and rides could not be made multi-story to increase spaces, wouldnt need to build out then like at Thornhill
[quote][p][bold]Sisca17[/bold] wrote: Perhaps it would help to alleviate the problem in some areas if the Park and Rides were made free again, and expanded (or more built) to cope with demand.[/p][/quote]I agree - there are no reason that the park and rides could not be made multi-story to increase spaces, wouldnt need to build out then like at Thornhill yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 1

10:48am Fri 29 Aug 14

14jayeff says...

Is there cpz outside hudspeths house? Thought not,do as I say and not as I do
Is there cpz outside hudspeths house? Thought not,do as I say and not as I do 14jayeff
  • Score: 1

11:04am Fri 29 Aug 14

14jayeff says...

I notice all the cpz,s are in areas of perceived wealth and none in Barton,b,b,l rose hill ECT where it might be"difficult"for the council to collect their fees.
I notice all the cpz,s are in areas of perceived wealth and none in Barton,b,b,l rose hill ECT where it might be"difficult"for the council to collect their fees. 14jayeff
  • Score: -1

12:17pm Fri 29 Aug 14

King Joke says...

cowley bob wrote:
The real issue is developers being allowed to build rabbit hutches without a run(garden/parking) This has been going on for 40yr's now, i live in Temple Cowley,we have terraced houses built nearly 100yr's ago(before car ownership) that are now 5 room hmo's. The blame is clearly with the council.
A hundred years ago people didn't feel the need to own two, three or four cars per household. Families were large too, so the terraced homes may not have been five-bedroom HMOs but many would certainly have accommodated upwards of five people. If anything density of people was higher. Too many people isn't the problem, it's too many cars.
[quote][p][bold]cowley bob[/bold] wrote: The real issue is developers being allowed to build rabbit hutches without a run(garden/parking) This has been going on for 40yr's now, i live in Temple Cowley,we have terraced houses built nearly 100yr's ago(before car ownership) that are now 5 room hmo's. The blame is clearly with the council.[/p][/quote]A hundred years ago people didn't feel the need to own two, three or four cars per household. Families were large too, so the terraced homes may not have been five-bedroom HMOs but many would certainly have accommodated upwards of five people. If anything density of people was higher. Too many people isn't the problem, it's too many cars. King Joke
  • Score: -1

12:20pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

14jayeff wrote:
I notice all the cpz,s are in areas of perceived wealth and none in Barton,b,b,l rose hill ECT where it might be"difficult"fo
r the council to collect their fees.
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with parking around Oxford.

One of the largest single CPZs in Oxford is in Blackbird Leys along with Minchery farm

There is also an extensive CPZ in the Northway council estate to protect residents from vulnerable people parking there whilst visiting the JR.

Likewise in Girdlestone road to stop residents suffering the indignity of ill people parking outside their homes.
[quote][p][bold]14jayeff[/bold] wrote: I notice all the cpz,s are in areas of perceived wealth and none in Barton,b,b,l rose hill ECT where it might be"difficult"fo r the council to collect their fees.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you are unfamiliar with parking around Oxford. One of the largest single CPZs in Oxford is in Blackbird Leys along with Minchery farm There is also an extensive CPZ in the Northway council estate to protect residents from vulnerable people parking there whilst visiting the JR. Likewise in Girdlestone road to stop residents suffering the indignity of ill people parking outside their homes. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

10:45am Mon 1 Sep 14

robbo81 says...

This is a load of tosh. As a resident of East Oxford and falling in the Magdalen North CPZ i was overjoyed when it got the go-ahead a few years back. I previously lived in Headington at the time they introduced their CPZ and for a meagre sum i found myself finally able to park about 99% of the time.

I moved to East Oxford at the time of the final consultation on CPZ's and voted in favour after seeing how well they worked in Headington. Prior to the CPZ in EO I remember having daily battles with parking my car, I'd have to park on Aston St, Stanley Rd, Iffley Rd, Chester St, Statfprd St or even as far as Jackdaw Lane. Quite a spread and I'd often return to my car to find it damaged or completely blocked in by commuter parkers. Since the CPZ introduction I can generally (I'd say 6 out of 7 days) park on the same street within a couple of minutes walk of my house.

I was surprised at the time that Iffley Fields rejected the CPZ as I knew it would create these problems. It isn't about the council being greedy and generating revenue - Oxford is a tiny city, at most I'd say it's 5 miles across but the majority of it is within a square mile. Commuters abuse residents streets by using it as a free car park making it difficult for everyone to go about their normal business if they live here. £50 per year is nothing - if you can own and run a car, you can afford this. I'd pay it if were double!

Most people complaining are the commuters and people who want everything for free. The only thing the council are at fault for is not providing enough public car parks and for not providing enough enforcement officers for these CPZ's!
This is a load of tosh. As a resident of East Oxford and falling in the Magdalen North CPZ i was overjoyed when it got the go-ahead a few years back. I previously lived in Headington at the time they introduced their CPZ and for a meagre sum i found myself finally able to park about 99% of the time. I moved to East Oxford at the time of the final consultation on CPZ's and voted in favour after seeing how well they worked in Headington. Prior to the CPZ in EO I remember having daily battles with parking my car, I'd have to park on Aston St, Stanley Rd, Iffley Rd, Chester St, Statfprd St or even as far as Jackdaw Lane. Quite a spread and I'd often return to my car to find it damaged or completely blocked in by commuter parkers. Since the CPZ introduction I can generally (I'd say 6 out of 7 days) park on the same street within a couple of minutes walk of my house. I was surprised at the time that Iffley Fields rejected the CPZ as I knew it would create these problems. It isn't about the council being greedy and generating revenue - Oxford is a tiny city, at most I'd say it's 5 miles across but the majority of it is within a square mile. Commuters abuse residents streets by using it as a free car park making it difficult for everyone to go about their normal business if they live here. £50 per year is nothing - if you can own and run a car, you can afford this. I'd pay it if were double! Most people complaining are the commuters and people who want everything for free. The only thing the council are at fault for is not providing enough public car parks and for not providing enough enforcement officers for these CPZ's! robbo81
  • Score: 0

10:49am Mon 1 Sep 14

King Joke says...

Robbo is right - I too live in a CPZ and most of the time we can park within 100 m of the house. We are about a mile from the city centre, just about walkable, and also have a bus every 5 min or better into town. Without the CPZ we would be free Park & Ride, or park & walk, facility for city centre workers.
Robbo is right - I too live in a CPZ and most of the time we can park within 100 m of the house. We are about a mile from the city centre, just about walkable, and also have a bus every 5 min or better into town. Without the CPZ we would be free Park & Ride, or park & walk, facility for city centre workers. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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