Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council have announced plans to tackle congestion on all major routes into Oxford and improve public transport connections into and across some parts of the city, particularly the city’s eastern arc (the area outside the city centre that links parts of north Oxford, Marston, Headington and Cowley).
The two councils want to 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 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 bus journey times for people travelling into and around the city, so that 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, 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 two councils are 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.
More information on the Connecting Oxford proposals are available at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/connectingoxford along with a short survey on the proposals. People are welcome to submit comments as individuals or on behalf of an organisation. The deadline for submissions is 20th October 2019.