A RIGOROUS cleaning regime is keeping the bins, benches and bus stops of Oxford free from coronavirus during the pandemic.

The regime, which beings at 5.30am and finishes at 7pm includes deep cleaning, hot washing, steam cleaning and sanitising of street furniture throughout the city centre.

It is part of a series of measures, including one-way pavements and more bike racks, which have been rolled out to help people keep at a distance as lockdown eases and shops reopen.

Cleaning crews responsible for the works are employed by ODS, a company which is owned by Oxford City Council.

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They dress in protective gear and can be seen wearing large pieces of equipment on their backs and riding cleaning vehicles through the city streets.

The company also washes under benches and between bike racks – work previously done by broom and cold water.

ODS is also maintain toilets throughout the city centre which have reopened after lockdown rules changed.

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A one-way pavement marking in Oxford. Picture: Ed Nix

Currently two of the city centre public toilets are fully open.

Gloucester Green toilets are usually the busiest in the city centre.

With the buses being reduced and the market not having been in operation until this week, ODS has undertaken a deep clean that included the waiting area.

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Market Street toilets have become busy and ODS has increased cleaning to hourly, which also includes sanitising the door handles.

Magdalen Street toilets are currently closed as are Oxpens Road toilets and Speedwell Street toilets.

Those on London Road, which serve Headington shops, have been open since the middle of May.

Cowley Road toilets and Diamond Place toilets that serve the Summertown shopping parade have been reopened.

Nigel Chapman, city council cabinet member for customer focused services said: “We are welcoming shoppers back to Oxford city centre. They may find the shopping experience a bit different but they can be sure of one thing; the council and its partners at ODS will be making sure that the city centre is as clean and sanitised as it possibly can so that visitors can enjoy and feel safe, as they return to shop in Oxford."