THE owner of a launderette in Botley Road is urging council bosses to think again about a £9m revamp which would axe shoppers’ parking.

James Griffiths, 45, has run the business on the busy route for the past 15 years.

He said he was shocked by the county council’s proposals to remove parking bays outside shops and businesses including his launderette and is convinced the move would damage trade.

Oxford Mail:

The council is proposing a series of congestion-busting measures as part of a £9m revamp.

READ AGAIN: £9m Botley Road improvement scheme will remove parking spaces

Mr Griffiths said: “I have emailed the council to ask them to think again because this is going to damage my business.

Oxford Mail:

“The council is suggesting it will create alternative parking spaces in the side streets but there simply isn’t room and my customers want to park outside, not carry heavy bags of washing quite a distance.

“This will have a harmful effect on quite a few businesses if these parking bays are removed - it certainly won’t help.

“I’m hoping the council will think again if there are enough objections.”

Yesterday SGN were carrying out gasworks outside the launderette for the day.

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Mr Griffiths added: “It has shown me what it would be like if the parking spaces are not here - people need to be able to park to drop their washing off.”

Oxford Mail:

He said he has contacted the council to suggest that an informal parking arrangement could be created on grass verges opposite but the council has responded by saying tree roots could be affected.

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In an email to Mr Griffiths, who lives in Wallingford with girlfriend Tracey, the council wrote: “Due to there being a number of very mature trees in that locality it would be very difficult to construct any type of formal pavement suitable for use for parking without damaging their root system which may even result in the trees entire removal.

“Impact on trees along the corridor is another criteria we have been asked to be extremely sympathetic to by numerous other key stakeholders and members of the public and is something that we are very keen in minimising damage to trees including any complete removal.”

Oxford Mail:

The council added it was investigating an alternative location nearby.

Mr Griffiths said: “There does need to be a proper alternative - I don’t think it’s enough to say people can park in the side streets.”

Haseeb Anwar, who opened WeFix & Trade next door to the launderette about a year ago, said he was worried he would lose customers if the spaces are removed.

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He added: “I fix mobile phones and laptops and people want to park outside and bring them in - I am really worried about the effect on my business.”

Oxford Mail:

Other businesses which would be affected include Country Grains and Warlands Cycles.

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Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “The consultation is still open and runs until November 29.

“It is still at the consultation stage and we will analyse the responses once it is closed.”