PARKING in the busiest city council-owned car parks could cost up to 50p an hour more from next year in a bid to push people into using public transport.

The authority has also proposed that park and ride charges at its five sites will stay the same in 2018 – despite saying last year that it planned to increase them.

But instead, a full day's parking in city centre car parks could now cost £35. 

Will the charges make a difference to how often you visit? 

The changes have been revealed today as part of the council's proposed budget for 2018/19.

Councillor Ed Turner, the council’s board member for finance, said: "That’s a decision we had to take. We thought at the moment putting up park and ride charges would not send the right message.”

Gloucester Green and Worcester Street would be the car parks affected, as part of a move the council hopes will net it £450,000.

Parking for up to an hour currently costs £3.50, but will rise to £4.

Other smaller increases at other car parks, such as Headington, would also be introduced. There will be no change at Oxpens.

Dr Turner said: “It’s a difficult time financially with the Government.

"We anticipate the last bit of our Government grant will be removed by 2019/20. We expect to have lost over £9m in government grants in the last five years.

"At the same time we face real pressures in services."

Despite that, the city council expects to receive up to £8.1m in business rates next year – up from £6.8m it expects to get this year – largely because of the Westgate Centre.

Graham Jones, from city business group Rox, said he was wary of the impact that increasing car parking charges could have.r street

He said: “They are obviously doing this in the wake of the Westgate opening and hoping that it will be a big enough draw.

"I think that it hasn’t really been tested.

"I think in slower parts of the year, post-January sales and when it’s quiet, it could be off-putting.”

While Ian Green, of the Oxford Civic Society, said he worried that the policies ‘would not be enough to be an incentive’ to get people out of their cars and onto public transport.

Charges at the city council’s three park and ride sites are £6.80 a day for up to two adults and three children, including bus ticket.

Councillors will vote on the budget in the new year.