THE removal of parking spaces from a busy Oxford road will spell trouble when people return to work, residents fear.

Oxfordshire County Council has been carrying out the latest stage of the Access to Headington project in Windmill Road since early June.

This phase was set to introduce speed limit changes and crossing improvements, among other features, while a cycle lane has been created at the expense of 16 parking spaces.

An estimated 88 permits for 36 bays meant drivers struggled to find a place to leave their cars even before the latest works.

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Chris Clifford, coordinator of the Windmill Road Residents’ Action Group, is worried about the impact it will have when schools and offices reopen.

He said: “When people stop working from home and life goes back to what it was we’re going to have a major problem.

“We’ve got completely contradictory forces here.

“We can manage a slightly longer walk to our cars, but longer term if you are infirm, elderly or disabled you can’t do that and won’t be able to live in this part of Oxford.”

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From left: Residents Frank Murray, Adrian Parker and Chris Clifford Picture: Ed Nix

Gathorne Road resident Frank Murray added: “We’ll be really threatened when people come back.

“Once parking in this area is full there’s nowhere else to go.”

Cycle lanes have been introduced as part of the Windmill Road phase of Access to Headington, but some residents believe removing parking spaces could increase speeding.

The issue was raised during a discussion about the project at last September’s delegated decisions meeting with Yvonne Constance, the council’s cabinet member for environment.

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The minutes show that Windmill Road resident Derek Albiston asked about extending off-peak parking on the street, due to fears an open straight road could encourage speeding.

Peter West, chair of the St Anne’s, Gathorne Rd, Rock Edge, Margaret Road Residents’ Association, holds similar fears.

He said: “There were cars all the way along Windmill Road, so people couldn’t speed.

“It’s now totally clear and you can go twice the speed – where’s the logic in that?”

Proposals to add spaces on the side streets attracted objections from residents and councillors, while more off-peak parking on the main road would have meant removing part of the cycle lane.

The county council confirmed it would 'revisit the need for additional side street parking after the scheme is completed'.