Keeping the city centre clean as visitors return

Keeping the city centre clean as visitors return

With the reopening of shops and hospitality businesses from 12 April and the return of visitors to Oxford City Centre, ODS’ Streetscene team are putting in extra efforts to make sure the city is as clean and COVID-safe as it can possibly be.

Last year ODS instigated the Oxford Standard, a cleaning regime aimed at ensuring the city centre is kept, not only clean and tidy, but also safer for all of its visitors. The Oxford Standard means more hot washing, steam cleaning and sanitising of the main areas of the city centre.

Now, as shoppers return, ODS has increased its staffing to take account of the rise in footfall as well as altering cleaning start and finish times to make sure that cleaning and sanitising is taking place where and when it’s most needed. Two early shifts will start at 5am and 5.30am. Additionally to take account of the rules that allow outside drinking and eating,and with shops potentially staying open slightly later, ODS has moved the time cleaning staff finish to 7.30pm.

ODS’ two high pressure hot-wash machines not only clean the streets down, they have also been adapted to steam clean or power wash street furniture safely. This includes washing under benches and between bike racks – work previously done by broom and cold water.

Head of Environmental Services at ODS, Bruce Thompson, said: “It’s great to see the city centre starting to come out of lockdown and to see people returning. Our cleaning regime will see our staff on patrol every day. As well as regular street cleaning, they’ll be sanitising the bins, benches and bus shelters in the city centre.

”We want to make sure that city centre visitors can be assured that that Oxford is a clean and safe place to come to.” 

Public toilets

Both Gloucester Green and Market Street public toilets in the city centre are open. Both have an attendant on site and both will benefit from enhanced cleaning. The cleaning regime includes sanitising door handles and areas people may touch. Hand sanitiser is also provided. Magdalen Street, Oxpens Road and Speedwell Street toilets remain closed. Outside of the city centre, the toilets in London Rd, Cowley Rd and Diamond Place are fully open.

ODS will continue to monitor the city’s cleaning regime as more visitors return to the city to assess if any further changed are needed.