County and city councils launch Oxford St Giles coach enforcement trial

A trial is to be launched on St Giles in Oxford which Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council hope will help improve the management of tourist coaches in the busy city drop-off area.

The two councils have agreed to fund a four-month trial which will see a Civil Enforcement Officer stationed in the St Giles coach area between 10am and 6pm each day.

The officer will enforce and manage the set-down and collection points and help to collect information such as arrival times, routes in and out of the city and the operators, that will help the two councils work together on a long-term solution for tourist coach parking.

Owen Jenkins, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Infrastructure Delivery, said: “This trial will help to address some of the problems that both councils have been keen to solve for some time.

“Clearly tourists are very welcome in Oxford and we want to see that the drop-off and pick up area operates safely for the tourists and all road users, and that all coaches are able to drop-off and pick up easily. To achieve this we need to ensure that drivers move off and park up at Redbridge rather than staying in the city centre.

“The information that we gather should help us to devise a longer-term strategy which works for everyone.”

Tim Sadler, Executive Director for Sustainable City, said: “Oxford is a welcoming city to visitors, but our aim has always been to get the balance right and ensure that tourism does not impact unfairly on residents or damage the historic heart of Oxford. Our existing system to manage tourist coaches – with the County Council offering three coach drop-off points in the city centre and the City Council offering a coach park at Redbridge Park and Ride – had not always been working, and the new enforcement officer aims to address that this summer.”

The trial will start on 30 April.