A COUNCIL is under pressure to rethink its parking policy after plans were approved to expand retailers outside Bicester town centre.

As reported, Cherwell district councillors approved plans by Tesco to build a new store, double the size of its existing shop, on land opposite its current site, and to expand Bicester Village.

Now traders say the council must give shoppers two hours’ free parking in the town centre.

The move comes as Cherwell District Council announced the end of a five-week period of free weekend and Monday parking.

It says there are no plans for a similar scheme unless there is more funding. But businesses and campaigners want one.

Tony Douglas, of Bicester Town Centre Group, said: “The council has got to give the town centre two hours’ free parking if it’s got any chance of competing.”

But George Reynolds, Cherwell's deputy leader, said: “Putting on the free parking cost the council around £100,000 in lost revenue.”