I received an email today from someone who lives away from Oxford and normally takes her daughter to Milton Keynes ice rink for regular skating practice. That rink is currently closed for refurbishment so she brings her to Oxford. Her email was about the fact that the City Council appears to have changed the parking arrangements such that there is no longer a free hour concession for those who pay the overnight midnight to 8am charge so charges don’t stack up and make things unfair on early, regular and dedicated skaters and/or their parents. It appears the concession was dropped silently and when challenged (point 3 on the sign below clearly says it was there) the sign was also removed silently. This means that although the normal parking charge during the day is £4.10 for two hours, if someone parks between 7.30am and 8.30am, for example, they have to pay a £2.50 night charge for the first half hour of that slot and then another £2.50 charge for the second half hour as it is in daytime. This is £5 for one hour as against £4.10 for two hours if they had arrived after 8am.
This hardly seems fair and hardly seems a sensible way for the City Council to be attracting more use of its sports facilities. I have asked the service manager to look into this but have not had an answer after nearly a week so I am also asking the portfolio holder for City Leisure a question at full council next week. Watch this space!