Decision details

Decision details

Free Parking at Park and Rides

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To provide free parking at Council-run park and ride sites for a limited period from August 2020.


To provide free parking at Council-run park and ride sites (Redbridge, Seacourt and Peartree) for a limited period from August 2020. Oxfordshire County Council is making a matching offer for its two sites (Thornhill and Oxford Parkway).

Guide revenue loss in discussion with Parking Management estimated at circa £30-35k, based on post-lockdown usage data, for the month of August.


The Council has worked in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council to provide free parking at all of Oxford’s five park and ride sites to make it easier for people to visit the city centre, rediscover Oxford, spend money in the local economy, and so support business and protect jobs. It’s a supportive initiative at a challenging time for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, with city centre footfall still heavily down on last year (circa 60%) and the number of vacant units rising. It is thus an intervention to support our tenant and business rate base (in and beyond the city centre, as the initiative could produce positive footfall benefits in local shopping areas e.g. Summertown and Headington, too), and a measure of support for Park & Ride services which have suffered from the guidance being to avoid them unless necessary (they’re currently running at 15% of usual capacity), and so support a return to use of a vital transport mode into the city centre.


Alternative options considered:

The alternatives were to maintain parking charges, which would not help to boost the local economy, or to run a slightly different scheme to County (e.g. Mon-Weds only in line with the #EatOutToHelpOut scheme), which would be less supportive and create perverse incentives for motorists to drive further to seek out free parking.

Signed off by senior officers:

Gordon Mitchell, Head of Paid Service (Chief Executive)


Decision taken in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Finance and Asset Management and Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, and the Head of Financial Services and the Head of Law and Governance.


Publication date: 07/08/2020

Date of decision: 28/07/2020