BOSSES at Travelodge say its planned new hotel in Oxford will generate £850,000 a year for the local economy.

They have petitioned city centre businesses to rally support for the development on the former Motorworld site, on the corner of Abingdon Road and Old Abingdon Road.

It is estimated 40 jobs will be generated during construction of the four-storey 83-bedroom hotel and the equivalent of 11 full-time positions will be created at the hotel with all entry-level roles going to local long-term unemployed.

Grant Hearn, chief executive of Thame-based Travelodge Hotels, said: “Oxford’s economy loses out because of the lack of good-quality, affordable hotel rooms.

“Instead of staying the night many visitors have to undertake day trips. This means they travel back to other destinations and spend their money in shops, bars and restaurants near to their hotel.

“Our existing hotel in Oxford trades very strongly and there is clear demand for another hotel in the city. With the park-and-ride next door, the Abingdon Road location is perfect and I hope the planning committee recognises the benefits a new Travelodge will bring to Oxford.”

A plan to build a three-storey office block on the Jewson Holdings-owned site in 2001 was turned down by the city council and it is currently occupied by a UK Bathroom Warehouse showroom. But Tim Rowland, manager of the UK Bathroom Warehouse store which employs three staff, said the business is continuing to trade and no decision has been made on its future.

He added: “We have tried to contact the landlord, with no success, but we have a lease here for at least another 18 months and I have no idea what is happening.”

As part of the new plan, buildings next to the Redbridge park-and-ride site would be demolished to make way for the hotel, 45 parking spaces and bin and cycle storage.

City council planners will make a decision on the application on July 11.

Last December, the council approved plans by Sojourn Hotels to convert a row of properties in St Michael’s Street. In Sandford, 38 new bedrooms are being created at the Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel, after South Oxfordshire District Council gave permission.

Travelodge also has hotels at Oxford’s Pear Tree roundabout, at Bicester Cherwell Valley close to junction 10 of the M40, in Burford and in Thame.