Oxford City Council has yesterday confirmed it will provide around 25 car parking spaces directly outside Oxford Ice Rink when the Oxpens Car Park closes, and has allocated a budget of £580,000.
Many ice rink users currently park at the Oxpens Car Park near the rink. This car park site is part of the new OXWED development, which will transform the area into a mix of residential and business development with outstanding public spaces. The current parking on this site is expected to close around April 2025.
To enable the OXWED development and retain the regionally important ice-rink facilities, the council has committed to providing a small amount of ice rink parking, as some user groups are not able to user public transport or nearby public parking.
Construction costs have been rising rapidly since the pandemic. The budget for this project is based on current estimates but also includes a significant contingency to cover expected price rises over the course of the project.
Most ice rink users are local to Oxford and do not need on-site parking as they are able to use public transport and nearby public car parks. The ice rink also serves a small number of elite athletes and sports clubs from beyond Oxfordshire. The council discussed the issue with the ice rink user group to understand their perspective and to set the baseline for what would be needed when the Oxpens car park closes. This highlighted that although most users could switch to other nearby parking or use public transport, there is a need for limited on-site parking for people who train very early or late, for ice hockey players with bulky equipment and for people with disabilities.
With Cabinet approval of the proposed design and budget, the next steps for the council will be to apply for planning permission. Construction is expected to begin mid-2024, based on the current information on when the car park may shut, and new parking to be available by around March 2025 ahead of the expected closure of the Oxpens car park.
“Oxford Ice Rink is an important part of our leisure centre provision, we’re proud to offer a regionally important facility for leisure and elite sports. We’re investing to make sure we’re ready for the changes that will come as the OXWED development takes shape, so that all users are still able to skate, train and compete at Oxford Ice Rink.”
Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks