Oxford

Summertown Football Club fights to save free parking

Pay and Display machine
Image caption Pay and Display machines could be introduced at parks across Oxford

A youth football club with over 400 players is fighting to keep free parking where it plays its matches.

Charges could be introduced at Cutteslowe Park in north Oxford where the Summertown Stars have pitches.

Club vice chairman Roger Parry said fees will put parents off bringing children to play.

Oxford City Council wants to make about £107,000 a year by introducing charges at a number of parks in the city.

In a statement, the council said: "We are proposing to introduce minimal charging in our parks in the city.

"This is a proposal which will be decided at full council during the budget setting process."

Other areas of the city where the council is proposing to introduce charges include Hinksey Park, Port Meadow (Walton Well Road), Alexandra Courts, Court Place Farm, Horspath and Marsh recreation area.

Parking charges of 50p for the first hour, £1 for up to two hours and £2 for up to four hours are being suggested in a report to the council.

But Mr Parry said that the club will be fighting the proposals to charge for the 130 spaces at Cutteslowe. It currently has 500 signatures on a petition.

"This isn't about commuters - this is about extra income for the council and taking it from people who are using the park," he said.

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