PLANS for a new £2.4m recycling site at an Oxford Park and Ride, which will swallow 270 car parking spaces, have been given the go ahead.

At a City Executive Board meeting held at Oxford’s Town hall on Thursday city councillors agreed to support the proposal to site the new transfer station for recycling materials.

The new centre at the south west corner of the Redbridge P&R will mean that council-run refuse trucks will no longer have to travel to Culham, which is some 12 miles away, to transfer waste materials.

A new access point will be created off Old Abingdon Road for the facility which will take up 270 car parking spaces at the 1,412–space Park and Ride site.

Speaking at the meeting Councillor John Tanner said: “It’s an excellent scheme.

“At the moment with our recycling it is collected and then has to be taken to Culham and before travelling back to Oxford.

“So if we have this site it will save effectively a lorry and a team collecting this. So it is a big saving and in very few years it will pay for itself.”

He warned councillors that there would be some increase in traffic movements in the area as a result of the project, and added that there would be 11 additional vehicle movements each day but argued it was a small number.

Addressing concerns over the loss of parking spaces he said that there would be sufficient space.

He said: “Redbridge is usually about half full. At Christmas and other times it can get fuller but there will be room for all these cars.”

At the same meeting Oxford City Council approved plans to purchase a new refuse lorry which will create two new posts, a driver and a loader.

Speaking after the meeting Council Leader Bob Price praised the scheme as a money saver for the taxpayer and said that the traffic impact and loss of parking spaces would be ‘marginal’.

He said: “The situation with the coaches is much more comprehensive because we are getting increasing numbers of coaches every year.

“So we are looking at taking a quite different approach to coaches parking.

“Obviously parking will continue at Redbridge but in the long run we have to find a different system.

“One that we are looking at is having a drop-off point at Thames Street at the Westgate to try to relocate the coaches away from the traffic areas.”

Oxford City Council will next have to gain planning permission before it can commence construction of the facility.

It is expected to cost £2.4m and generate revenue savings of £320,000 a year once fully operational.

Plans are expected to be formally submitted early next year and the council aims to be up and running by the autumn.