Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council have launched a major engagement exercise to gather views of residents, commuters and employers affected by congestion in Oxford.
The councils have put forward plans (pdf format, 3.2Mb) to tackle congestion and the poor public transport connections into and across some parts of Oxford, particularly the city’s eastern arc (this is an area outside the city centre that links parts of north Oxford, Marston, Headington and Cowley). The measures include improving bus routes, particularly to the city’s ‘eastern arc’; traffic restrictions to increase space for cycling and walking routes, and a levy on workplace parking spaces to fund improvements
The key points of the Connecting Oxford proposal are:
- Restricting car traffic by introducing additional ‘bus gates’ (similar to the restriction on Oxford’s High Street) across the city to improve journey times for people travelling into and around the city, and so road space can be reallocated to improve walking and cycling routes;
- New high frequency fast bus routes connecting neighbouring towns and the Park & Rides to Oxford’s eastern arc (the area outside the city centre that links parts of north Oxford, Marston, Headington and Cowley), which is seeing the greatest growth in employment but is currently less well served by public transport, particularly around the ring road;
- New and improved cycle and walking routes, including utilising space created by removing vehicles from the road to provide safe and attractive alternatives to driving into and around the city;
- A charge for workplace parking provided by larger employers in the eastern arc, which would help fund the proposed transport improvements and create a disincentive to drive to work. Discounts for the new bus services would be available for staff of employers paying the workplace parking levy;
- Improved journey times for commuters driving into and around the city as a result of less congestion.
The plans would make a real improvement to journey times for commuters and quality of life for residents, including improved air quality, by reducing the number of cars travelling into and around the city.
The two councils are now asking for comments and ideas from residents, commuters, businesses, transport operators and other organisations to feed into the detailed development of the proposals. The feedback will be used to develop a detailed project proposal, including a full business case that sets out the costs and benefits of the scheme. Please comment on the proposals using the button below.