THE PEOPLE of Marston will finally get the opportunity to decide on the future of street parking in the area after nearly a year of waiting.

Residents were promised an area-wide survey on the potential use of permit-only parking in some areas.

It followed complaints commuters were taking advantage of free street parking in Marston, resulting in residential streets clogged up with cars.

The promise was made by Oxfordshire County Council, which operates street parking in the county, at a meeting of disgruntled residents at Marston Village Hall in July 2014 – but no action had been taken since.

Now, nine months on, city and county councillors will be distributing more than 1,000 surveys across the ward.

Independent councillor for Marston Mick Haines said: “It’s great news that we’ve finally got the surveys.

“We’ve had to wait a long time but we’ve finally got the questionnaires now and I’ll be delivering them to residents.

“When people get in touch with me,what they’re always concerned about is parking.”

In the questionnaires, residents in busy streets such as Lewell Avenue, Mortimer Drive and Fairfax Avenue will get a chance to decide on what sort of street parking they would prefer.

Residents can choose from three options: free unregulated on-street car parking, full-time permit parking, or permit parking where visitors can stay for between one and three hours.

Lewell Avenue resident Malcolm Kitching previously referred to Marston as a “glorified car park”.

The 74-year-old had complained that students and employees from Headington institutions such as Oxford Brookes had made parking close to his house impossible.

Now the grandfather-of-eight hopes that hours spent looking for a car parking space could be a thing of the past.

He said: “I’m over the moon.

“It’s been such a long time and there was no movement and we’ve been so disheartened that we felt like we’ve been forgotten.

“I’ll go along with what the people of Marston say. It’s important that we all have a voice.

“But what I’d like to see is the residents to go for limited parking.

“That’ll stop people from Brookes and the JR parking here for the whole day hopefully."

“Even so, £50 or £60 a year for a parking permit is a lot of money, especially for people on a pension.”

Mr Haines added: “From handing out the first few surveys, a lot of people don’t want permit parking.

“I had a lady chase me round the corner when I asked her about permit parking.”

Oxfordshire County Council had previously said that residents could expect the surveys in early March, but Councillor Mick Haines only received them surveys on Monday ((13/04)).

Spokesman Owen Morton said: “Unfortunately we were unable to progress this in recent months due to competing demands on resources within the highways team.

“We are grateful for the local members’ offer of help in distributing the survey and will continue to work with them on this issue.”