WORK to complete a much-delayed transport project in Oxford will go ahead – but the county council will ask again whether it has got a parking plan right.

Access to Headington should be completed by March 2020 and is on course to cost more than £4m than originally thought.

A councillor joked that residents have started to refer to the £16.7m plan as ‘Inaccess to Headington’.

Proposals had to go out to consultation again earlier this year because it been so long since people were first asked about them.

Measures were passed by the county council's cabinet member for environment, Yvonne Constance, yesterday.

READ AGAIN: Regularly delayed county council Access to Headington project will only be finished next MARCH - and cost stands at £16.7m

Roz Smith, who represents Headington and Quarry, said parking spaces that the county council wanted to scrap in Windmill Road had to be retained.

She said: “In the last three years there has been a massive change in the number of HMOs (houses of multiple occupation). These are not for students – this is housing for professional people who want to live in Headington.

Mrs Smith added: “After all, we do have five (and a half) hospitals in the area and it’s a long and horrible commute into Oxford, as we all know.

"If they can find somewhere that’s reasonably priced, a house share, they will do. Certainly that is happening in the Windmill Road area.”

Mrs Constance agreed with calls that parking that would have been taken out as part of the proposals will be reconsidered. That will only be used at off-peak times, however.

Mrs Smith said: “I think it’s so important that we stop calling it Inaccess to Headington and start calling it Access to Headington and start getting the niggly things sorted as soon as possible.”

Council officers said parking in side streets off Windmill Road instead of on it was given ‘huge’ consideration, mindful that it would have a major impact on residents.

Mrs Constance asked the county council’s contracts and construction manager, Pat Mulvihill: “We’re hoping to finish in March, yes?”

Mr Mulvihill said: “We’re expecting to finish in March.”

Mrs Constance said: “Don’t say expecting, please say we are finishing it in March.

READ MORE: Access to Headington: Traders fear for future because of roadworks

"I have given residents four dates so far and I don’t want to have to give them another one.”

Mrs Constance added: “We will do another consultation to examine the possibility of off-peak parking on Windmill Road because I think we will be looking at very restricted parking in this area.”

Oxford's hospitals' bosses warned visitors that parking would take up to two hours because of the works last year.

The county council's director for community operations, Owen Jenkins, admitted having to reopen the consultation into the works was 'very regrettable'.

During the consultation, a business owner told the county council their business would be 'destroyed' if parking spaces were removed.