With the new Westgate Centre now open, the city can expect more visitors keen on finding out what the new shops have to offer.
The extended opening hours in the new shops and increased footfall around the city centre unfortunately may lead to increased litter as well as greater use of the Council-run public conveniences.
Shoppers can help by taking their litter home and using the litter bins. But to take account of any increase in litter the City Council is changing the way it operates its street cleaning service in the city centre. The revised service is now in action from 5 am to 9.30 pm, seven days a week. There will be now be more mechanical cleaning going on while the streets are empty as the City Council has bought two new street cleaning machines aimed at sweeping away litter before it becomes a problem.
The Council will also install new high-tech solar powered bins that will compact the litter that's put into them, making them capable of storing more litter before they need to be emptied. Not only can they hold up to ten times as much litter as the older style bins, they also automatically message the Council when they need to be emptied. The solar compacting bins will be introduced in Cornmarket, on a trial basis, in November.
Public toilets in the city centre are also open longer to cater for evening shoppers. Most will be open from 7.30 am until 9 pm instead of 9 am to 5 pm. The toilet in Speedwell Street will still open at 8 am and close at 5 pm.
Cllr John Tanner, Board Member for a Clean and Green Oxford, said: "Keeping the city centre clean for residents and visitors is a top priority for the City Council. We are taking the opportunity of the new Westgate opening to make the whole of the city centre cleaner and tidier as we will be cleaning it for longer every day. I want to thank our cleaning teams for their flexibility in taking on new rotas to make Oxford a clean and welcoming city for everyone.”