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Views differ as plans for grass verge parking in Blackbird Leys go in
PLANS have been submitted to create 18 parking spaces on a grass verge – but the reaction from residents has been mixed.
Oxford City Council has put in a planning application for 18 spaces where Blackbird Leys Road meets Balfour Road.
The council is looking for places across the Leys to get parked cars off roads.
The Balfour Road verge is already used by parked cars and spaces would not be allocated to specific homes.
No trees will be removed. Indeed two and some shrubs will be planted and bollards installed.
The application says its was “unusual” for tenants to own cars when work started on the estate in the 1950s.
Parking bays were constructed in the 1980s but new spaces since have been “ad hoc”, it says.
But car ownership is “now commonplace, with many families having more than one car”. Shared houses “add to the pressure”.
The views of Blackbird Leys Road residents to the plan differed.
Kavitha Leyose, 34, said: “It’s a good thing because we need our own spaces.
“It may be misused, but at the moment we don’t have anywhere proper to park.”
Blackbird Leys Parish Council chairman Gordon Roper said: “It’s something we’ve been pushing forward for some time and I’m pleased that it’s going ahead.
“It’s a bit of an eyesore with them churning up the grass – it will tidy things up.”
Resident Sue Evans, 54, said: “I’m not very happy about it. My main concern is that my mum is disabled and it’s going to be harder for her to get to the house.
“I have to park the back of my car close to my house so that I can use ramps for her wheelchair.
“From the plans it looks like I won’t be able to do this and my mum will have to walk much further.
“Also, 18 spaces will not be sufficient with some families having two cars.”
Retired delivery driver Jim Wood, 65, said: “It’s got to be positive but I’m not sure the plans are that good.
“There’s a bus every minute in Blackbird Leys Road, so when the roads are really busy at around 5pm it’s going to be impossible to get out. The people who are going to park there will be from the other end of the street and visitors to the dentist across the road will use it.”
Oxford City Council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “Oxford City Council is increasing parking provision on Blackbird Leys in a bid to address long-standing complaints about parking on grass verges after improvements to parking came top of a residents’ wish list last year.
“Several hot spots were identified, such as the triangle on Blackbird Leys Road, following parking surveys and discussions with stakeholders and residents.
“The plans were welcomed by the Blackbird Leys Parish Council at a meeting in June and are now in the initial stages of implementation.”
Scott Seamons, the city council's executive member for housing, added: “The parking problem on Blackbird Leys Road is particularly bad. It’s great to see that local concerns have been listened to and this issue is being dealt with.”
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