The Plain roundabout

In August 2013 Oxfordshire County Council announced it had won £835000 from the Government’s Cycle City Ambition Fund, to which the City and County councils will add £135000, to improve cycling through The Plain.

On 17th October 2013, Cyclox hosted an open public meeting in central Oxford, which was attended by about 30-35 members and non-members.  Two County Council officers responsible for progressing the plans, Mr Craig Rossington and Mr Tony Kirkwood, kindly gave their time to attend.  They told participants about some safety aspects from injury and crash records, and outlines the constraints posed by the location.  Cyclox collated comments of those present, together with other remarks that were sent in, which were sent to officers as the Cyclox Plain Submission.

Over the next three months, three or four members of the committee were kept informed about the progress of the planners’ ideas for Stage One of The Plain project (on the roundabout itself, and its very immediate entry and exit points).  We met them informally in the Council offices.  We are grateful for the chance this gave to keep abreast of the proposals.  We made specific suggestions, mainly about some details.  After internal consultation and an analysis of comments on the Cyclox Forum the committee agreed to send a joint commentary with CTC.  Oxford Civic Society has also added its thoughtful commentary.

On 27th March 2014, proposals were discussed at the council’s Transport Decisions Committe.  A detailed committee report was presented by officers.  Simon Hunt, Chair of Cyclox, presented the views of Cyclox and Graham Smith, CTC Councillor for SE England and Cyclox committee member also spoke.  The Committee decided to proceed to detailed design, and regarded Simon and Graham’s comments as part of that detail – so there is hope yet!

On 9th April 2014, Graham Smith submitted a proposed ‘amendment’ which Cyclox believed would deliver more ambition and a better outcome for cyclists.

On 11th July 2014, several Oxford cycling campaigners had a letter published in the Oxford Times explaining they had petitioned the council to say the scheme is ‘a waste of money‘ and  to reconsider, urgently, the current design and approach, and instead, to provide ‘Space for Cycling’.

On 17th October 2014, the council announced that work on the scheme would be put on hold until after Christmas 2014 following concerns about the impact on congestion.