CAR parking around an Oxford park is to be monitored following complaints from residents about park users clogging their streets.
People living near Cutteslowe Park, North Oxford, say more people are parking outside their homes since Oxford City Council brought in
parking charges at the park.
The authority said the charges would stay, despite the concerns.
But speaking to the Oxford Mail last night, city council leader Bob Price said he had asked officers to carry out a monitoring exercise and the authority was working with Oxfordshire County Council to find a solution.
Liberal Democrat city councillor for Wolvercote Mike Gotch said: “There has been a lot of displaced parking because people don’t want to pay for it.
“There are a number of surrounding streets which have been affected and people are parking across drives.
“A number of Cutteslowe residents have blue badges and people are parking in blue badge places.
“The number of people parking in the street has increased.”
“Bob Price agreed a year ago when it went through that he would earmark some of the proceeds for conducting a proper monitoring exercise, but that’s not what this is.
Please can we have a proper and full monitoring exercise?”
Mr Gotch said he wanted to see council officers asking the local residents exactly what the problem was as part of the monitoring exercise.
Mr Price said: “We don’t want it to have an impact on local residents and we are conferring with the county council on ways this can be tackled.”
Park users have had to pay parking charges at several Oxfordparks since last September.
Charges were introduced at the car parks in Walton Well Road, Hinksey Park, Alexandra Court and Cutteslowe Park.
Cutteslowe has no on-street parking restrictions and is not a controlled parking zone.
Drivers pay 50p up to the first hour, £1 for between one and three hours, £2 for three to five hours and £10 for five to 24 hours.
Since introducing the policy, the city council has made more than £86,000 from the scheme, around £16,000 more than it was expecting.
Park user Geoff Jordan, 61, from Kidlington, said: “I don’t want to pay for parking and I want to be able to take my dog for a walk in the park. I can appreciate that if I lived along there and
couldn’t park outside my house I would be unhappy.
“While the council is making money it will be happy.”
Deputy leader of the city council Ed Turner said it had been forced to introduce the charges because of a cut in the amount of money given to it by central government.
He said: “We didn’t want to introduce car parking charges in parks.
“They were introduced with a heavy heart.
“I’m glad the income is coming in as planned but I am regretful.”
He added that parking on residential streets was a matter for Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority.
County spokesman Paul Smith said officers were working with local councillors to explore what options might be available to solve the problem.