Traders have welcomed a decision to reverse part of the Oxford Transport Strategy and allow free short-stay parking in Broad Street.

Last month, city and county councillors at an OTS working party agreed parking should be restored following pressure from traders, who said their takings had been hit since the introduction of the scheme two years ago.

At yesterday's county council highways committee meeting, councillors agreed to approve 30 minutes of free parking for 20 spaces in Broad Street.

The move will coincide with a £75,000 temporary refurbishment of the street, which has already been approved.

Cllr Jean Fooks, who is a member of both city and county highways committees, said: "This will help traders in Broad Street and the Covered Market."

Sandie Griffith, secretary of the Covered Market Traders' Association, said the decision would be welcomed by Broad Street traders and those operating in the market.

She said: "This is very good news and is what traders have been calling for all along.

"People will now be encouraged to drive in, park for a short time and pick up the items they need.

"They will also be reminded that there is a loading bay in Market Street, and they could park there as well."

Access to Broad Street will be from Parks Road and the science area, and there will be clearer road markings for cyclists.

Eddie Luck, the county council's assistant director of transport development, said: "The half-hour time limit will encourage a greater turnover of shoppers than one-hour pay and display."