Botley Road launderette boss in Oxford fears for the future

In 2019, James Griffiths raised concern about the county[1] council's plans to upgrade the Botley Road which would involve removing the parking bays to extend a bus lane.

But the bays remain in place and Mr Griffiths wants to know the timetable for their removal.

READ AGAIN: Road remains closed after train hits car[2]

Botley Road is currently closed at the rail bridge[3] while work is carried out by Network Rail in advance of station improvements and will not reopen until October.

Mr Griffiths said it was a 'challenging' time for the launderette.

He added: "We have had the pandemic, then inflation, rising energy prices now the closure of the Botley Road.

Oxford Mail: The launderette in Botley Road

"As I understand it as part of the Botley Road improvements the council are due to remove the parking bays directly outside to create a slightly longer new bus lane.

"The removal of the parking bay would create a perfect storm for an already suffering business."

Some traders in the Botley Road area have said trade is down about 50 per cent[4] after the closure was introduced last month.

There is a parking bay with space for three cars outside the launderette and drivers can park for an hour from 8am to 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

Lisa Rowles, of Classique Unisex Hair Salon, which is in the same row of shops as the launderette, said she was concerned about the effect of the removal of the parking bays on the business.

Oxford Mail: Lisa Rowles outside Classique hair salon

She added: "We have actually had a busy week but I am concerned about the parking bays being taken away. If the bus lane is extended it would make the pavement outside the salon much more narrow."

Mr Griffiths received an email in August from Andrew Gant, county council cabinet member for highway management.

It said: "The parking bay to which you are referring falls within the next phase of the Botley Road Improvements.

READ AGAIN: Pub given one of out five food hygiene rating[5]

"The county council is currently identifying funding for this next phase.

"As you mention in your enquiry, the original proposals (which included the recently completed phase one and future phase two) were consulted on some time ago including the initial cabinet member decision, made in December 2019.

"I can confirm that, subject to funding, officers will be looking to undertake a comprehensive review of the design, including the issue of parking in the vicinity of the launderette.

"This will include extensive stakeholder engagement.

Oxford Mail:

"As a result of the long period of time since the above mentioned decision, the proposals such as parking amendments, new bus lane, revised speed limit and new signal controlled crossings will require a new round of statutory consultation and a further report."

A spokesman for the county council added: "Although permission to remove and relocate these parking bays was approved in 2019, work has not yet been carried out due to lack of funding.

"If and when funding is secured for this next phase of the Botley Road scheme, another consultation would need to be carried out ahead of a fresh decision-making process because the rules say that work needs to be carried out within a two-year period after the original consultation on the proposed changes."

READ AGAIN: David Gower and Chris Tarrant to play in[6] cricket[7] match

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. [10]

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.


  1. ^ county (
  2. ^ READ AGAIN: Road remains closed after train hits car (
  3. ^ Botley Road is currently closed at the rail bridge (
  4. ^ trade is down about 50 per cent (
  5. ^ READ AGAIN: Pub given one of out five food hygiene rating (
  6. ^ READ AGAIN: David Gower and Chris Tarrant to play in (
  7. ^ cricket (
  8. ^  (
  9. ^ Oxford (
  10. ^ can sign up to his newsletters for free here.  (