Council plans to control Oxford city traffic “will benefit everyone” says Cyclox.
Oxford’s cycle campaign welcomes bold plan to reduce motorised vehicles that will speed up journey times and free up space for walking and cycling.
Oxfordshire County and Oxford City Councils have published a proposal today (Wednesday 18th September) outlining their visionary plans to improve travel times, reduce congestion and tackle pollution. These plans have been released to test public opinion and and seek early comments in advance of opening a formal consultation in 2020.
Approximately 45,000 vehicles currently enter Oxford during rush hour, driving a cumulative total of 220,000 miles, estimated to release 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Through traffic comprises 40% of all motorised traffic through the city centre’s streets.
The proposal is to implement five traffic control points — also known as ‘bus gates’ — both in and around the city centre: Thames Street, Worcester Street and South Parks Road; in addition the B4495, Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way. Sections of these roads will be closed to private and commercial vehicles during peak times, while remaining open to buses, taxis, emergency vehicles and cycles, as is already the case on Oxford’s High Street.
The Councils are also proposing the introduction of a workplace parking levy for all businesses with over 11 employees in the Eastern arc of the city (Northway and Headington, through to the Oxford Business Park) with the aim of encouraging people to commute by more sustainable and efficient modes. The levy will fund future transport developments, such as improved bus routes and segregated cycle routes.
Cyclox Chair, Dr. Alison Hill, has welcomed these plans, describing the Councils’ proposal as an “extraordinarily bold vision”: “This is the first step in making Oxford’s streets healthier and more attractive for all and will encourage people to walk and cycle in our beautiful city.”
Cyclox urges the Councils to hold their nerve and deliver this visionary plan to reduce motorised traffic: “Everyone is set to benefit. Not only those taking public transport and travelling on foot, or by bike, but also car drivers who will no longer waste precious time sitting in traffic jams each day. By reducing the number of cars travelling through the city, we believe this plan will allow for quicker bus journeys and will free up space that can be allocated to walking and cycling. Air quality will improve, congestion will reduce and — most importantly — there will be a beneficial impact on health for Oxford residents and visitors alike.”
Notes to editors
- Cyclox is the voice of cycling in Oxford. We are a membership organisation and we aim to get more people in and around Oxford cycling, more often, and more safely.
- Oxfordshire County Council’s and Oxford City Council’s Connecting Oxford proposal.