BAD parking is causing a massive headache for bus drivers trying to negotiate major roadworks in Cowley Road in Oxford.

Drivers in side streets are flouting no parking zones making it difficult for buses to get through the diversion routes.

Bus company bosses for Stagecoach in Oxfordshire and Oxford Bus Company say their drivers have experienced problems including an accident.

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And they are urging car drivers not to park inconsiderately.

Oxford Mail:

A series of road closures are shutting off parts of the ‘crumbling’ Cowley Road as Oxfordshire County Council ploughs £1.5m into improving one of the main routes in and out of the city.

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Stagecoach in Oxfordshire managing director Chris Coleman said: “Roadworks are essential to keep the roads safe and maintained for everyone and while they can cause short-term issues it’s for the long-term benefit for us all.

Oxford Mail:

We would ask that everyone please respect the road restrictions in place to help us to continue to offer services to our passengers during this time.

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“Over the past few weeks we have faced delays, inability to service routes and also an accident when car drivers have ignored the restrictions in place.

Oxford Mail:

“Whilst we appreciate that the roadworks is an inconvenience for all road users, we would urge all drivers to please bear in mind the impact that flouting no parking zones has on everyone as the roadworks continue into their next phase.”

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Despite welcoming improvements, traders said earlier the 12-week scheme, which started last month, came at a time when businesses in the Cowley Road were battling to claw back custom from the Westgate, and feared more disruption would make the problem worse.

Oxford Mail:

Stagecoach spokeswoman Emma Twemlow said the accident happened in Temple Street on July 29 due to ‘indiscriminate parking’ and car drivers not observing the one-way system.

One the same day Temple Street was impassable due to parked cars and buses were diverted via Iffley Road and Church Cowley Road.

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On July 31 Temple Street was blocked again until police were called to move cars and there were also problems in the street on August 1 and on August 5 in Marston Street.

Oxford Mail:

Ms Twemlow added that 28 parking tickets were issued by August 2 and the bus company has lobbied parking attendants to step up patrols in the area.

Phase three has now started and Stagecoach is appealing for drivers to respect the closures and restrictions in place.

Oxford Mail:

Stagecoach has been discussing the situation with Oxford Bus Company as its buses also use the routes and have also been affected.

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company managing director, said: "Bus operators have experienced a significant increase in access issues in the Cowley Road area.

"We understand roadworks need to take place, but issues were exasperated by inadequate planning, traffic management systems and enforcement.

"The situation became so difficult at the weekend that our team were left with no choice but to telephone the police.

"It is vital all key stakeholders work closely together to ensure we all help keep Oxford moving.”

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The county council has not commented on the problems bus drivers are experiencing but it said on its website: “Delays are likely throughout the works and everyone is being asked to review their daily route, mode of transport and time of travel and where possible consider alternatives’.