Keep the Oxford ice rink car park open

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Oxford city council has confirmed it will permanently shut Oxpens Carpark in 2020 after closing 106 spaces in the decked area of the car park this week.

The reduction results from the expiry of temporary planning permission for the decking and an extension, which was granted during the construction of the Westgate Centre.
From Monday, a further 135 spaces on matting will be removed, leaving just 179 spaces available at the car park where there were 420 spaces a week ago.

The original surface-level car park will continue to operate, before being permanently closed next year as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment of the area by the city council in partnership with Nuffield College.
The council previously estimated that the remaining 179 spaces would remain open for ‘the next few months’ but has now given a more specific estimate, saying they will stay until autumn 2020.

Though redevelopment needs to go ahead this decision and a lack of alternative provisions limits choice and availability of parking in the city centre and disproportionately impacts all users of the cities’ ice rink, including general public, competitive figure and dance skaters and hockey players.

The council have suggested that people use alternative parking such as park and ride or cycle, however this is not practical for most of the individuals that train on a daily basis and travel from all over the county to develop and succeed in their sport, in particular several children who are released for short periods from their schooling.

Further to this, no consideration has been given to supporting parking provision of national skating competitions held at the rink or home hockey matches, with the council also not consulting or informing permit holders of their plans to secure a sustainable future for the rink and help to develop local talent.

Please show your support for retaining parking at the Oxpens site or alternative additional provision near the Ice Rink beyond 2020.