GRASS and trees are to be protected from parking damage as Barton becomes the latest estate to benefit from council cash.

Oxford City Council wants to spend at least £60,000 to put down plastic mesh and bollards in Burchester Avenue to smarten up the street.

The scheme is planned as part of the council’s Great Estates project, which aims to improve communal areas in the city’s estates.

Van Coulter, council member for Barton and Sandhills, said parking on the verges had caused deep ruts in the grass.

He also said trees had had to be removed after roots were damaged by drivers using the road edges.

He said the council was looking at putting in between £60,000 and £70,000 for the works, with the cash coming from rent paid by council house tenants.

The Labour member said: “The appearance of this part of Barton is spoilt by the current situation.

“We have some serious rutting caused by lorries.

“It means there is a lot of mud spread over the pavements.

“It is just a complete eyesore.”

Mr Coulter also said drivers would find somewhere else to park – and damage – if the council blocked off the street’s verges, adding: “We are looking at a practical way of allowing access to parking but making sure it has a good level of appearance and gives the grass a chance to grow.”

And he added: “This is another thing happening in Barton to make the estate look better.”

Earlier this month the council unveiled new parking bays for 13 vehicles in Redmoor Close, Littlemore. New shrub beds and trees were also added to the area.

It was the fourth parking scheme to be completed under the £500,000 Great Estates project, with new parking bays already provided in Rose Hill’s Ashhurst Way and Monks Close, and in Blackbird Leys Road.

Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “There are several proposed schemes that we are currently considering for the Great Estates Programme for next year.

“Officers have been talking to ward councillors to seek their views about what measures would best improve the appearance of the road.

“We have a budget for £450,000 for car parking and verge protection works but that will be distributed within estates across the city.”