top of page

Policy on parking in East Oxford

Parking is one of the key issues facing residents in East Oxford who own cars and who often face real difficulty in finding anywhere to park close to home. Their fears are exacerbated by the impact of the Quickways.

The Problem

Quickways mean that 650 parking spaces will be lost with none replaced. (Details of lost spaces are included as Appendix 1 ). I wrote to the responsible Councillors, (Duncan Enright and Tim Bearder) asking how residents should deal with this and one responded by referring me to the Council’s website demonstrating how much they care.

The number of permits issued has remained reasonably static over the past 5 years and the number of visitor permits has also remained consistent. However a higher number of residential permits are issued in East Oxford and Divinity Road compared other parts of the area, perhaps reflecting the high number of student HMOs. Anecdotally there are concerns about the abuse of the residents’ visitor scheme to provide open-ended permission for an extra car in student households. A review of policy is needed to ensure that the visitor permit system is fair and not abused.

Residents Parking Permits Issued

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

Divinity (DV) 612 585 546 529 535 572 563

East Oxford (EO) 923 901 829 752 773 798 850

Iffley Fields (FS) 0 0 0 468 444 446 447

Magdalen North (MN) 537 451 409 421 417 456 481

Magdalen South (RH) 0 0 0 0 482 505 522

Issued Residential Visitor

Permits Issued* 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

Divinity (DV) 1168 982 930 888 877 817 917

East Oxford (EO) 1750 1660 1517 1357 1443 1216 1414

Iffley Fields (FS) 0 0 0 536 407 457 517

Magdalen North (MN) 922 733 693 632 749 582 727

Magdalen South (RH) 0 0 0 0 771 626 706

*Visitor permits are issued in batches of 25, so the ‘number’ issued is actually the number of batches. Car owners are allowed one ‘free’ batch with their permit, plus a further batch, for a fee, on request. Carless households can request also visitor permits. Note that in Divinity and EO particularly, the number of permit batches greatly exceeds the number of car permits, suggesting a lot of extra requests are made.

Workplace Parking Levies

There is a contrast in the way different groups of people are being treated in Oxford. Many teachers, nurses, teaching assistants and other key workers do not earn enough to live in the city and have to travel by car from outlying towns to work. The city is about to impose levies on workplace parking and there seem to be no exemptions. Headteachers and NHS Managers have raised concerns that payments will come out of their budgets, reducing funding for education and care. The parking levy also has a big impact on businesses, that are requesting more consultation. This contrasts with a relaxed laissez faire policy on student parking across the city.

Students with Cars

Both Universities used to discourage students from bringing cars to Oxford. Today they just do not permit cars in university halls of residence and turn a blind eye to cars elsewhere. This chimes with the council’s own policy. (See Appendix 4.) The only controls are that the student must be the registered keeper, and provide proof of residence and a council tax exemption certificate. Would it not be possible to have a more structured policy so that a student should have some justification for keeping a car in the city? The large number of student owned cars in residential areas across East Oxford is evident in the way parking problems are eased during vacations. If the council considers it legitimate to remove 650 car parking spaces for people living or working on designated Quickways, surely it is legitimate to ask for some review of criteria for the right to a parking space on East Oxford streets and timely to approach the universities to establish joint policies.

Cambridge students are required to make a commitment that they will not bring motor vehicles other than mopeds into the city. Cambridge University requires any student who wishes to have a car to apply for a university licence. The Senior Proctor can fine students £175 if they breach the regulations. Similar policies apply to Anglia Ruskin University and cover their campuses in both Cambridge and Chelmsford. (See Appendix 2. See Appendix 3.)

If elected I will argue for talks between the local councils and both universities to agree a policy on undergraduate student car use in the city, linked to a fair policy on the issue of visitor permits and joined-up enforcement. Criteria of need can be set through discussion with student bodies, with the student requiring permission from their college or university.


Appendix 1 - Estimated number of car parking spaces lost (Source Oxford County Council)

St Clement’s Street 10

Church Cowley Road/Between Towns Road 91

Cowley Road/Oxford Road 195

Iffley Road/Henley Avenue/Rose Hill 132

Marston Road 37

Morrell Avenue/Warneford Lane 135

Donnington Bridge Road 49

Total 649


Appendix 2: Cambridge University regulations on Student’s use of Motor Vehicles.

Motor Vehicles

Members of the University “in statu pupillari” who are in residence in term or in the Long Vacation period of residence are required to have a University Motor Licence if they wish to keep motor vehicles (other than mopeds) within 10 miles of Great St Mary's Church. Students who have MA status or who are members of the Senate do not currently require a licence. Licences are issued under the authority of the Senior Proctor, who has the power to impose a fine of up to £175 for breaching the regulations on the keeping and using of motor vehicles and to suspend or revoke licences.

The issue of a licence is conditional upon meeting certain requirements relating to insurance and the availability of authorised parking. A motor licence is not a parking permit and does not entitle the holder to park on university premises without separate authority. Licences will only be issued upon recommendation from a College Tutor and they are only available to undergraduates who have not already kept 9 terms if they meet particular conditions.


Appendix 3: Anglia Ruskin University (extract of the regulations on Car use)

H. Keeping or driving a car in Cambridge

19. No full-time student (except approved disabled students, students whose permanent family home is within the City of Cambridge or students that need a vehicle for placement reasons) will be allowed to keep or drive a motor vehicle, other than a moped or motorcycle, in the City of Cambridge.

20. The Office of the Director of Student Services will issue you a permit if you may keep or drive a motor vehicle, in line with the above paragraph. These permits will only be allowed for a certain period to reduce the possibility of non-authorised copying or use. You need to apply for a permit and prove you are entitled to a permit in line with the above paragraph.

I. Parking cars and driving on campus

21. You cannot park a car, cycle, e-scooter or motorcycle depending on the campus concerned, anywhere other than in designated areas. You must also keep to on-campus speed restrictions.

22. Student parking at the Cambridge or Chelmsford campus is restricted to cycles, motorcycles and drivers with an accessibility (“blue”) badge.

23. If you are a disabled student or have a temporary impairment you can apply to Student Services for a temporary parking permit to access Accessibility bays at our Chelmsford campus. These permits will only be allowed for a certain time period to reduce the possibility of non-authorised copying or use. You will need to apply for a permit and provide medical evidence confirming your disability.

24. Residential Services, security and other members of our staff will carry out spot checks to make sure that nobody is breaking parking control regulations on the campus concerned

25. Privately owned e-scooters are illegal to use other than on private land which must not be accessible to the public. The use of privately owned e-scooters is prohibited on all ARU campuses.

26. We will investigate all claims of the regulations being broken and, where appropriate, take necessary disciplinary action under the Student Disciplinary Procedure


Appendix 4 – Oxford's weak policy on student parking

Information for students moving to a controlled parking zone:

To apply for a parking permit, your vehicle must be registered in your name at the address within the zone you are applying for. You'll need:

  • proof of address

  • the vehicle registration certificate (V5C).

Being the named driver on an insurance policy will not qualify you for a parking permit.

Proof of address for students:

You can use one of the following documents.

  • Your fully signed termed tenancy agreement (should be signed by yourself, the letting agency and witnessed)

  • Your Council Tax student exemption certificate

  • A recently dated utility bill or financial statement

Recent Posts

See All


Ο σχολιασμός έχει απενεργοποιηθεί.
Notes from Your Doorstep 20/2/2022
bottom of page