East Oxford mosque losing battle over parking zone exemptions

County councillor David Williams, front right, with local residents who oppose the mosque bid to have parking restrictions eased 	    Picture: OX69545 Richard Cave

County councillor David Williams, front right, with local residents who oppose the mosque bid to have parking restrictions eased Picture: OX69545 Richard Cave Buy this photo

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

MUSLIMS appear to have lost a battle to have parking restrictions outside an East Oxford mosque lifted.

Since the introduction of the Magdalen North controlled parking zone (CPZ) in 2012, leaders of the Medina Mosque, in Stanley Road, have been lobbying to have the restrictions altered.

At the moment all the spaces in Stanley Road are reserved for residents only and visitors to the mosque have been getting tickets for leaving their cars outside.

After looking into the issue Oxfordshire County Council has decided against lifting the restrictions and will instead create a new bay in Iffley Road which will allow non-permit holders to park for three hours.

County councillor for Iffley Fields and St Mary’s David Williams said: “I have said that they shouldn’t alter Stanley Road and leave that as it is. What the mosque wants is to lift the CPZ restrictions and I cannot see why we should do that.

“The regulations are what they are and that’s to stop people parking down Stanley Road.”

The county council has received a petition signed by 269 moque visitors complaining about difficulties with parking.

In response the council agreed to investigate and decided to create a bay in Iffley Road for up to five cars. This was due to be approved in February, but following representations from the mosque the council agreed to revisit the issue.

It decided not to reverse its decision, opting for a bay in Iffley Road. Mark Kemp, county council deputy director for environment and economy, said: “Since February officers have visited the site to observe parking on a Friday and have discussed the matter with the local member for the area councillor, David Williams.

“It is suggested that the proposals as originally advertised be implemented.”

A final decision will be taken by cabinet member for transport David Nimmo-Smith at a public meeting on Thursday.

Ahmed Qazi, an Imam at Medina Mosque, said: “We understand our neighbours have got the right to park their cars, but some of them have their own driveways available, so we are asking for parking on the left side of Stanley Road which is not used.

“We can only ask the county council if they accept this.

“People come to worship five times a day from places like Kidlington and Barton and they are only parked there for 10 or 15 minutes but as soon as they leave they see the ticket on their windscreens.”

 

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