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County Council Highways chief commits to meeting over Banbury parking fines

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County Council Highways chief commits to meeting over Banbury parking fines
The councillor in charge of Oxfordshire’s highways has agreed to discuss the parking fines that have vexed traders in Banbury.

The county councillor in charge of Oxfordshire’s highways has agreed to discuss the parking fines that have vexed traders in Banbury.

Those involved with businesses on Parsons Street in the old town area of Banbury have highlighted dismay over the issuing of parking tickets for vehicles they say are delivering to their premises.

The area outside shopfronts is pedestrianised between 10.00am and 4.30pm. Loading is permitted outside these times, but parking is prohibited at all times.

The regulations have been in place for over a decade, but the enforcement changed hands in November 2021, with Oxfordshire County Council taking over from Thames Valley Police.

It apprears that the traders have suffered problems since the enforcement changed hands.

Councillor Kieron Mallon (Con, Bloxham & Easington) brought forward the issue at this week’s meeting of the full county council.

He asked Councillor Andrew Gant (Lib Dem, Wolvercote & Summertown), the county’s cabinet member for highway management, to “explain why these independent shops and businesses are receiving parking tickets and being fined for delivering and collecting outside the core pedestrian period”.

Councillor Gant referred to the general parking restrictions in the area in his response.

“When carrying out enforcement of that type of restriction, either in Parsons Street or elsewhere across the county, the (enforcement) contractor will allow an observation period before issuing a penalty charge notice (PCN) to check whether loading activities are taking place,” he said,

“This would need to be on a continuous basis, i.e. not parked up while a driver takes a break.”

Referring to the county taking over enforcement, Councillor Mallon said: “That is when the problems started, we had a full 10 years without any problems.”

He added: “No amendments are being asked for, just the correct implementation of the existing TROs (traffic regulation orders) that have worked for over 10 years until Oxfordshire County Council put their parking people on the streets.”

He asked Councillor Gant to meet with him and businesses to hear “complaints, questions and comments” and for his agreement that any business incorrectly issued a fine “will be reimbursed”.

In response to Councillor Mallon, Councillor Gant said he would be “very happy to meet with you” but said that refunding parking fines would be “outside my remit”.

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