Park and rides set to enter a new era
Parking and riding could get even easier thanks to a new agreement between the county and city councils that is to be considered next week.
From September Oxford City Council could take over the operational management – through its trading arm Oxford Direct Services - of Thornhill, Oxford Parkway (formerly Water Eaton) park and ride sites.
Currently the city council runs three park and rides, at Redbridge, Seacourt and Pear Tree. The county council has been responsible for running Thornhill and Oxford Parkway.
Making better parking more attractive
Earlier this year the county council introduced new lower season ticket prices at Thornhill and Oxford Parkway park and ride sites with the new tickets being valid at all park and ride sites. The result has been not only a better deal, but also a more flexible scheme for season ticket holders.
The two councils have explored ways to make the site management more efficient and the result has been a move to bring in new arrangements that will see the city council undertake the day-to-day running of all of the sites, providing a sustainable option that will encourage more motorists to use them.
Revenue from Thornhill and Oxford Parkway will still go to the county council. Oxford City Council, through Oxford Direct Services, will receive £299,800 a year for the initial contract term 1 September 2019 to 30 August 2024.
One service, and a focus on congestion
Owen Jenkins, Director of Community Operations for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Traffic, congestion and parking are big issues for Oxford. By working together with the city council we believe we can provide a better service for users and attract more people to the park and ride sites.
"There are also savings and efficiencies for the county council, which will allow us to continue to focus on reducing congestion and improving air quality in the thriving city of Oxford and beyond.
“We will continue to focus on the park and rides and seek improvements wherever possible.”
Simon Howick, Managing Director of Oxford Direct Services, said: "This initiative will create a single, uniform, park and ride service across the city, making the facilities easier to use and more attractive to visitors to Oxford. This change to the way the locations are operated aims to further reduce the number of vehicles that need to come into Oxford and so help reduce vehicle emissions in the city centre."