15 08 Cyclox Circular

Cyclox Circular August 2015

INFORMATION AND NEWS

Oxford’s Inner Ring Road gets upgraded
As briefly mentioned in the last newsletter, Oxfordhire County Council have announced a B4495 improvement scheme starting at Cherwell Drive, up Headley Way to London Road then out to the Windmill Road intersection, then on to The Slade and out to the ring road, plus bits of Old Road between Windmill Rd and Gipsy Lane.  Long overdue and very welcome. All on the main road, none at all on quiet route alternatives.  See https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/accesstoheadington/consultationHome.
Funding is approximately £8.5m from Local growth Fund, via the Local Enterprise Partnership, plus a further £4m from Community Infrastructure Levy – a tax on developers in recognition of their impact on the environment.  It does seem it will definitely go ahead.  A lot of the money will be spent on junctions (e.g. signalising the Marston Rd/Cherwell Drive/Marsh lane intersection and removing the roundabouts; signalling the Hospital access Rd/Headley way).  Some removal of grass verges and trees to provided cycle paths. Plenty of removal of on-street parking.  A lot of reliance on mandatory cycle lanes on-carriageway, not enough that’s segregated, either fully or partly. Headley Way changes will be much better than now if they manage to remove the car parking but understandably residents are unhappy about this . This is reported in some detail but with lots of negatives in the Oxford Times: http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/13375664.Drivers_are_warned_to_expect_more_misery_from_roadworks/

Cyclox has been invited to discuss these plans with Stewart Wilson Senior Transport Planner to give our thoughts so let us know what you think and we can reflect your views. contact@cyclox.org Consultation closes 7th August.

Cyclox Members comments so far
James Larminie:  I visited the exhibition of the plans and was impressed by most of them. In answer to the question about on-road parking, the plan is that on Headley Way and Windmill Road parking will not be allowed. How deliverable is this? Presumably the house-owners affected will object. The plan is to offer them as yet unspecified alternatives – which are sill being worked on.  The Old Road proposals look good, but very difficult to achieve. However, the planners at the exhibition seemed quite chippa that the money would be available to achieve what was difficult. The Slade/Hollow Way proposal was the one that did not seem a good idea. All the other proposals seemed to me to be very positive.

Danny Yee:  Getting 1.2m advisory (in places mandatory 1.5m) cycle lanes almost the length of these routes will be a decent improvement, but what’s not shown on these diagrams is what the parking restrictions are on top of them.  Iffley Rd going from the Plain to James St has a nice 1.2m advisory lane that is parked on much of the time.  And it looks
like many of the side roads (e.g. on Old Rd, Windmill Drive) are going to be given the same treatment as the side roads on Iffley Rd (a raised ‘bricked’ crossing for the footpath, which also helps to protect the cycle lane from vehicles entering too fast).  I wonder why they’re not doing this elsewhere, for example where Woodlands Rd meets
Headley Way.   These improvements will make me more comfortable cycling (and walking) along these routes, but I don’t think this is going to be enough for people who aren’t comfortable sharing space with dense motor traffic (30mph for most of the B4495).

Liz Batty:  I have only taken a quick look, but it looks like some advisory or mandatory lanes on roads which don’t currently have them, more ASLs, more pedestrian crossings, and some rejigging of junctions to increase the number of lanes. I’d say it was mostly minor improvements for cycling but nothing particularly exciting.


PUBLIC MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES

Oxford Cycle Shorts – A Cyclox Short Film Competition
Never a week goes by without cycling being in the news one way or the other, often negatively, and we all hear people say ‘oh I couldn’t cycle in Oxford – too dangerous’. So Cyclox would like to counter this with evidence of the positive aspects of cycling in Oxford. We are inviting you to make a short (1-5mins) film which aims to encourage cycling in Oxford. Go to  http://www.cyclox.org/film/ for more details. There is a huge cash prize, plus fame and publicity for all who take part. Closing date 5th Oct 2015.

Cyclox public meetings
We will be holding public meetings in St Michael in the Northgate starting again on Tuesday 15th September, Tuesday 20th October and Tuesday 17th November which is the AGM and Carlton Reid has agreed to talk at that, more details to follow.
Our September meeting will be about localism – how Cyclox members can give us an insight into how cycling is supported in their part of the city. We would like a few people to support this – we are calling them our Cyclox Champions. If you want to know more, or have a suggestion for how it might work, come along and tell us.

Cycle challenge
Cyclox member David Wilson is cycling 100miles in August to raise money for Action Medical Research, a charity supporting medical research for children.
If you would like to support him, the link is http://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/stlukesradiology2015

Cyclox members in the news
The Oxford Times and Mail letters pages have a high proportion of letters from Cyclox members (3 this week) and Richard Mann’s encouragement to encourage cycling as  part of the solution to Oxford’s transport woes is welcome. http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/forum/letters/13380977.Oxford_expects_you_to_use_public_transport__walk_or_cycle/