RESIDENTS in Wolvercote are pleading with sun-seekers to leave their cars at home to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s parking chaos.

The hot weather on Saturday and Sunday meant Port Meadow car park on Godstow Road filled up early in the morning, with several drivers abandoning their vehicles on double yellow lines nearby.

Across the two days, 28 cars received tickets from Oxfordshire County Council enforcement officers, but villagers believe that will not deter motorists.

Read also: Section of A34 to close for entire weekend this month

Wolvercote resident Philippa Gazzaniga claimed the traffic briefly caused 'gridlock' on Saturday and fears there could be serious consequences if it happens again.

She said: “There’s going to be problems when someone’s blocked in, as you can’t get an ambulance down there.

“It’s for the safety of people swimming in the area, as well as us living here.”

Ms Gazzaniga added: “We welcome people coming and using a space that we know we’re very lucky to have.

“But if the car park is full at 9am it’s clear you can’t get there by car.

“Half the people tend to be regulars, but the others haven’t been there before, so they don’t know what to expect.”

Read also: Oxfordshire school shuts 48 hours after reopening amid coronavirus fears

Villagers reported cars parked along the side of the road from the junction of The White Hart pub right up to the bridge under the A34 near Wytham.

Although rain is forecast this weekend, Ms Gazzaniga expects the number of visitors to remain high as people take advantage of lockdown restrictions gradually easing.

She said: “It always gets busy in the summer, but only when it’s sweltering hot do we normally get this situation.

“It’s impossible to socially distance when you’ve got that many people.”

Read also: 'Gang stamped on my head while my boys watched'

The issue was discussed at last night's meeting of the Wolvercote Commoners’ Committee, while many residents have complained to Paul Buckley, county councillor for Wolvercote and Summertown.

Mr Buckley has spoken to parking enforcement officers at the council, but admits the issue is a ‘serious problem’ with ‘no obvious solution’.

He said: “There are two problems in particular – one is parking on double yellow lines and the other is parking on the pavement.

“I’ve got mixed feelings, as it’s great to see so many people enjoying themselves.

Read also: Firefighters scrambled to countryside blaze

“The problem is that the car park is too small when there are such pressures.

“The combination of bank holiday weekends and people being in lockdown for weeks makes it inevitable.”

The councillor added that he did not think a bigger car park would be popular and encouraged visitors to Port Meadow to walk or cycle.

County council spokesperson Martin Crabtree said: “Following complaints from residents enforcement officers issued 28 penalty charge notices for parking on double yellow lines over the weekend in question. We did not remove any vehicles.

“Double yellow lines are used to protect road safety and keep the roads free of obstruction.”