THE days of commuters using Bicester side streets as unofficial car parks are set to come to an end.
Oxfordshire County Councillor Michael Waine has put forward proposals to create two no-waiting areas in six residential streets – Balliol Road, Basset Avenue, Blake Road, Cedar Drive, Magdalen Close and Woodfield Road – to stop rail travellers parking there.
Residents in Woodfield Road said they have had problems with commuters blocking the streets for years and welcomed the proposals. They said drivers turn up from 6am, block the street and driveways, and leave their vehicles for up to 12 hours a day.
The situation is so bad that people have to leave bins near the entrance of Woodfield Road and the refuse truck has to reverse in. Parking costs £6.50 a day at Bicester North station.
Mr Waine’s plans would see two one-hour no-waiting zones imposed, on one side of the street, between 11am and 1pm. He said: “I’m responding to residents’ concerns about the potential for emergency vehicles getting access.” He said the traffic order would only be imposed with strong support from residents.
Householders living on Woodfield Road said they supported the initiative but raised concerns that residents could end up being penalised. Kathleen Baggett said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. We have problems sometimes getting out of our driveway because of all the cars.
“The only problem I see now is, are the cars going to come and park on the verge?” Albert Parker said he was supportive of measures to stop commuter parking, but was concerned residents could be fined if they were unable to move their cars.
He said of commuters: “They are here at 6am. They just bung up the place.”
Mr Parker described one distressing incident where the hearse carrying his mother-in-law had to mount the kerb because the street was blocked. Patricia Jefferies said commuters had told her they parked in side streets because they could not afford parking fees at Bicester North Station.
She said: “When we first moved here it was ‘spot the car’ – now you can’t move.”
Victoria Crane said: “These people have no regard for our lives. It’s not hard to work out that a bungalow generally means older residents.” Consultation ended yesterday and a decision is expected to be made early next year.