Thorntons of Oxford, in Broad Street, will close its doors next year, adding to unrest among traders about the effects of the Oxford Transport Strategy and rent increases imposed by the city council.

The news follows a decision by the city's oldest shoe shop, R Gillman, also in Broad Street, to close after Christmas. Blackwell's Bookshops is also reviewing its entire operation in the historic street.

Thorntons' owner Vim Meeuws, said company founder John Thornton would be turning in his grave to see the state of Broad Street today.

He said: "It's such a waste of public resources, the way the the city and county councils have chopped and changed parking and pedestrian arrangements in the street.

"The Broad has become a nasty street now, sadly."

He said the opening of Borders Books, in Magdalen Street, last year, was the straw that broke the camel's back.

He added: "People are not able to park when they come to sell antiquarian books."

Much of Thorntons' business is carried out by mail order with overseas universities, and Mr Meeuws is now looking for smaller premises.

County council deputy transport director Eddie Luck said work on a temporary traffic scheme for Broad Street would begin next year.

The Thorntons business was founded in 1835 on the corner of Beaumont Street and Magdalen Street and moved to Broad Street in the 1850s.