Rediscover Oxford with free week of parking at Park and Rides

People planning to visit Oxford by car are being reminded that there’s still a week of free parking to be had on the city’s five Park and Ride sites.

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council teamed up at the start of August to make it easier to visit the city centre, rediscover Oxford, and spend money in the local economy by providing free parking at all Oxford’s five Park and Ride sites throughout August.

The city council waived all parking charges at its Pear Tree, Redbridge and Seacourt Park and Ride sites, while the county council did the same at its Oxford Parkway and Thornhill.

The free parking is available every day until Monday 31 August. Parking payment machines are covered to stop anyone using them.

People who have already paid for August parking in advance can request a month-long extension to their permit by emailing carparks@oxford.gov.uk.

Drivers do not have to do anything new when they arrive at the Park and Ride sites – they can simply park their vehicles, put on a face covering (unless they are exempt from wearing one) and get straight on the bus. Although car parking is free, fares for the bus journeys still apply.

People are encouraged to roam through and beyond Oxford city centre to visit shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs and other businesses in local centres including Summertown, Headington and Cowley Road.

Visitors are reminded to pay attention to any measures in place locally such as one way systems and social distancing markers on pavements, and also to remember to use face masks when required and use hand sanitiser as required.

Councillor Liam Walker, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Operation and Delivery, said: “We were keen to help support local businesses by making it even easier to get into the city centre, especially while the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ offer was on.

“The five Park and Ride sites offer excellent connections to the city centre where there are so many brilliant businesses and restaurants ready to welcome customers old and new. If you haven’t taken up the free parking offer yet, I’d urge anyone planning to drive to the city to give it a go in this last week.

“The county council is also working hard to improve active travel opportunities across Oxfordshire to make it easier for people to visit town centres by cycle and on foot so that they can support local businesses wherever they live.”

Further business support

The free parking comes on top of a wide range of support that the city council has provided for businesses in Oxford, including creating zones for outdoor dining across Oxford, a one-way pedestrian flow system to help people turn to the city centre safely, new bike parking, and tens of millions of pounds of financial support. The city council will be launching a publicity campaign in August to further encourage people to visit Oxford.

Councillor Tom Hayes, deputy leader and cabinet member for green transport and zero carbon Oxford, said: Oxford City Council is working closely, on one hand, with local businesses to bring back a vibrant city centre and, on the other hand, with bus services to bring more people into our city centre. Our goal is to encourage people to spend money in the local economy, help to keep businesses here, and protect jobs and incomes.

“Free parking at Park and Rides is another way in which the city council is backing buses and backing businesses. Visitors can either park and pedal to the city’s highlights, making use of the new cycle parking installed by the council, or hop on a bus in the knowledge their journey will be quicker because cars are not clogging up streets.”