Free parking for key workers and suspension of parking charges at Oxford park and rides

Under new measures agreed by the Government, critical key workers will now be able to use council parking bays without time restriction or charge. In Oxford this means that the changes will apply to all on-street parking and open, council-run, car parks including pay and display.

Key workers

The Government has defined critical key workers as including health and social care staff, education and childcare workers, other public services, food supply chain, transport, utilities workers and others.

The list is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision 

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council will keep the arrangements under review in respect of any changes to the Government’s list of key workers. 

To ensure the public are kept safe and that the roads remain clear for emergency and essential services, both councils will continue to carry out crucial parking enforcement locally.

Parking charges lifted at park and rides

In another move, all parking charges are being lifted from Oxford’s Seacourt, Thornhill, Redbridge and Oxford Parkway Park and Ride car parks, [though bus fare charges will still apply for connecting transport in and out of the city centre].

Oxford's Peartree Park and Ride will be temporarily closed from Monday 30 March as the Oxford Bus Company suspends its bus services 300 and 500 to the city's park and rides due to falling demand.

The site will therefore be closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. Peartree users will be redirected to the Oxford Parkway Park and Ride (formerly Water Eaton) where users will be able to access the city via the rail link or bus service 2.

The Park and Ride service 400 will continue to operate. However services X2 and X13 will continue to provide four buses an hour from the Redbridge site, with two buses per hour operating direct to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The park and ride services direct to the hospital from Thornhill and Parkway park and rides, the 800 and 700 respectively, are still running.Also effective from 30 March, the City Council's car park at Court Place Farm will be made available exclusively for the use of Oxford University Hospitals staff in a move aimed at reducing parking pressure for key health workers. Oxford City Football Club is also working with Oxford University Hospitals to provide spaces at this site.

Cllr Liam Walker, Cabinet member for highways delivery and operations, said: “The advice for the great majority of people is to stay at home, but during this difficult period it is important that we do what we can to support key workers.

“I am pleased that we are able to lift charges so that key workers can do their work with just a little more ease.”

Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainable Transport said: "As people follow the Government's instructions to stay at home, and bus services are reduced as a result, we need to concentrate the park and ride service that’s in the north of Oxford at Oxford Parkway/Water Eaton.

"To support Oxford University Hospitals and their staff who are keeping our hospitals running, the City Council is making the Court Place Farm car park available for dedicated use of the Trust until further notice."

Working together

Both Stagecoach and Oxford Bus Company are actively working with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council to ensure a good level of service for hospital staff and to adapt to the coronavirus crisis as it evolves.

For any queries regarding parking in Oxford please email carparks@oxford.gov.uk or phone 01865 252489.