AFTER a five-year battle a Controlled Parking Zone has finally opened in the Divinity Road area.

It means that anyone wishing to park will have to have a permit, or use one of the newly-introduced, temporary free parking pays.

The scheme is being introduced to tackle commuter parking, though there are concerns it will just push the problem elsewhere.

Yesterday marked the first day of the CPZ which extends across Bartlemas Road, Cowley Road, Parsons Place, Hill Top Road, Warneford Road and Divinity Road itself.

Andrew Carter, who lives in Hill Top Road, said: “We have noticed a difference already.

“Hill Top Road has suffered quite badly from all-day parking for quite a long time.

“We are hoping this will restore some sense of order and normality to the street.

“If felt a different and nicer place without all those cars.”

A CPZ is an area where only residents – with permits supplied by Oxfordshire County Council – may park. They are also given a limited number of visitor permits.

There are currently 23 full-time parking zones in Oxford, with another four around the Kassam Stadium, which are enforced only on Sundays and match days.

Divinity Road resident Elizabeth Mills said: “The overwhelming majority of residents here are in favour of a controlled parking scheme.

“Each house is wide enough for one car outside it, but when you get more than one car per house you are going to have parking pressure.

“It is very early days. The students here will certainly wake up to it when they start getting parking tickets.”

Warwick Street resident Amar Latif campaigned against the CPZs.

He said: “Divinity Road has a problem with daytime parking because of the hospitals and Oxford Brookes University. There will be a degree of displacement now.

“It seems to be only a matter of time before the county council drums up a reason for more CPZs.”

From Monday, October 29, the Magdalen Road (North) CPZ will also start operating.

There are currently no plans to introduce a third zone in Magdalen Road (South) because of public opposition, but the council plans on reviewing the situation in six months.

Most of the money for the East Oxford CPZs, which are expected to cost up to £291,000, is coming from Oxford University as part of an agreement to let it extend its Old Road campus.

The county council first proposed the idea of the East Oxford CPZs in 2007.

County councillor Rodney Rose, cabinet member for transport, said: “It certainly took long enough. The reason for the delay was that we were reacting to local pressure and local opinion.

“But nobody in the Magdalen Road (South) area thinks they will have a problem.

“We have done what we can to that and it will be interesting to see what happens.”

Permits can be obtained in person at the county council’s Parking Shop in Speedwell Street.

For details about the new zone, contact 0845 634 4466