DRIVERS may need to pay to park outside their homes in almost all areas of Oxford in the near future.

There are plans to introduce controlled parking zones (CPZs) in almost all residential areas of the city, excluding the city centre.

Oxfordshire's county council regularly meets to discuss plans for new CPZs in areas of the city, where residents who own cars have to pay £65 each year for a parking permit.

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But according to a council transport chief, the zones are not aimed at punishing local drivers, but stopping commuters driving into Oxford from parking their cars on residential roads.

A map, freely available on the county council's website, shows that there are plans for CPZs in every area of the city outside the city centre, ranked by priority.

Under the restrictions of most CPZs, parking bays alongside streets are only available for use by nearby residents who have cars between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

But some also operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Traffic wardens can give out fines to people who park in the spaces without a permit.

Areas already covered by active CPZs include East Oxford and most of central Headington, North Oxford and Summertown, Jericho, and most of the streets off Botley Road and around Osney.

But there are still 'gaps' in the map where commuters travelling from outside Oxford can at the moment dump their cars for free and walk to work.

Oxford Mail:

A map of all planned CPZs in Oxford

The highest priority areas (priority 1) for new CPZs include two in Cowley district centre, one at Cowley Marsh and at Wood Farm.

Priority 2 areas include Headington Quarry where a CPZ has just been approved, Sandhills, Risinghurst and Barton, Florence Park, Donnington and the area of Littlemore north of the ring road.

Priority 3 areas include Old Marston, an area of South Oxford along the Abingdon Road and Upper Wolvercote.

The lowest priority areas (priority 4) include Blackbird Leys, Greater Leys Rose Hill, Iffley, Littlemore south of the ring road, and Lower Wolvercote.

The most recently approved CPZ was Headington Quarry, which was given the rubber stamp by Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for the environment Yvonne Constance at a meeting on Thursday, November 19.

At the meeting, Lib Dem councillor John Howson described how 'CPZs are proposed for the whole of Oxford eventually when potential incoming drivers will have nowhere to go'.

Transport chief Ms Constance added: "The intention of the CPZ of course is not the manage the routing of traffic but simply keeping out commuter traffic.

"If there is nowhere to park for free on residential streets we are hoping commuters will realise you don’t drive a car into Oxford you catch a bus or maybe cycle."

She added that nine new CPZs had been approved in the the 2020/21 financial year, and said a further 17 are due to follow next year.

Ms Constance said: "This will make a very big impact on traffic in Oxford city."

Oxford Mail:

Yvonne Constance

Areas which will not be covered by CPZs include most of the city centre and small residential areas like Navigation Way, on the west side of Jericho from the Oxford canal.

At the meeting on November 19, Ms Constance decided a CPZ was not needed there because the small cul de sac of streets was guarded by a rising bollard, which usually deters commuters from parking there.

One of the problems with CPZs which often worry residents and councillors is the idea that if a new restricted zone is introduced in one area, then all the commuter parking it usually shoulders will just be displaced into another neighbourhood.

The council hopes that once every area is covered by a CPZ this will not be a problem, but while they are still being introduced it could be.

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To prevent this from happening as much as possible, the council can delay the start date of newly agreed CPZs while work to design and fun neighbouring ones is complete.

Not everyone drives or owns a car in Oxford or the surrounding areas.

According to the council's own Local Transport Strategy, roughly two thirds of Oxford households (67 per cent) own a car and half of all journeys within the city are on public transport.

By comparison, 90 per cent of households in other areas of the county own a car, and most people who commute into the city use their cars.

As well as introducing the 'stick' of CPZs throughout the city, there are plans to improve public transport for commuters travelling into Oxford and recent grants for 'active travel' have been aimed at pushing commuters to cycle.