New local Travel Plan heralds radical change

Our statement on the Oxfordshire Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan

Oxfordshire County Council has started consulting on a plan that will transform the way people in the city and neighbouring towns and villages travel. Not only does the plan propose the most radical change to Oxford’s transport system that we have ever seen, we’re almost certain that it sets out the most radical change to a city’s transport system that the UK has ever seen. 

This plan is called the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan and it is part of the wider Local Transport and Connectivity Plan that was approved in July. 

The Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan envisions Oxford as a city where transport is no longer dominated by the use of private cars, but a city where people can choose to travel conveniently by public transport and feel safe to cycle and walk. This will create a better, more liveable city, while simultaneously addressing the climate emergency and improving the health of Oxford’s residents and visitors. 

The Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan sets out a number of positive actions that will bring us closer to our vision for Oxford’s future: a world class cycling city, where everyone can choose to cycle, and where cycling is a normal form of transport.

The reduction of motor traffic and fewer private cars on our streets is of critical importance in making people feel safer to cycle. 

 There are proposals to reduce car journeys that include:

  • An expanded Zero Emission Zone across the city centre (Action 1)
  • Six new traffic filters that allow access to buses, taxis and cyclists, like the one that has been in place on Oxford’s High Street since 1999 (Action 2)
  • Reduced car parking in the city through a workplace parking levy (Action 3)
  • More controlled parking zones and removal of public parking (Actions 4-7) 

There is a commitment to develop a comprehensive and inclusive cycle network that includes primary and secondary routes, which are referred to as Quickways and Quietways (Action 8).

There is a pledge to achieve Vision Zero (no road fatalities or life-changing injuries) by 2050 that focuses on delivering improvements to junctions for people cycling and walking (Action 10). This is something we have campaigned for as a result of four young women who were killed while riding their bikes in Oxford within the last two years. 

While improving Oxford’s junctions will make our roads safer, there is one crucial action that is missing: the implementation of a 20mph speed limit across the city. Lower speeds are critical to reduce fatalities and significant injuries on roads. Vision Zero will not be achieved without 20mph speed limits in Oxford and we will be asking for this to be included in the plan as part of our response. 

There is so much to applaud in the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan and we are in full support. Our expert infrastructure group volunteers and fellow CoHSAT (Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel) members are already pouring over the details and formulating a comprehensive response to the public consultation that will close on 3rd October

To inform individual responses to the public consultation, we will be sharing our key points with Cyclox members, supporters, and followers over the next fortnight: you can subscribe to our mailing list, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or become a Cyclox member.

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