LCWO transport lead Neville has sent this update on transport issues:
Bus routes to Jericho
Oxfordshire County Council has to submit a bid for extra funds in its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) during early September.
Neville has sent information to Council Officers involved in the process to ask to improve the bus access to the Medical Centre and Surgeries in Walton Street and Beaumont Street from West Oxford.
This important issue became high profile in West Oxford with the bus-gate proposals for Worcester Street and the need for a bus service which could improve the route for local people to access the Observatory Health Centre in Walton Street, and the GP surgeries in Beaumont Street. With many people registered at these Surgeries a low-carbon public transport route from West Oxford would be very important. Attention has been drawn to this problem with Council Officers involved in the survey, as well as supportive local councillors. Further action and support from members may be needed depending on the reply to the initial information.
A project is being undertaken partly due to its instigation by LCWO members looking into the provision of bike hangers in residential streets in Oxford. These are covered lockable bike storage units with spaces for rent. They accommodate six or four bikes. They are particularly helpful where houses have no or small front gardens. They increase bike security and help remove obstacles from the pavements making life safer for pedestrians and those with mobility problems. The six bike hangers are about the length of half a car.
Further updates will follow progress.
Botley Road Railway Bridge
Initial consultations are beginning regarding the plans for a new railway Bridge, possibly by 2023 as part of the East-West rail development.
This would involve widening the bridge to include level access for cyclists and pedestrians on both sides of the road with 4 metres of space on each side for this purpose. The plans are at initial stage and we are encouraging early involvement of local people in the planning process.
One of the first stages would be re-routing the water main (so talked about recently!) without closing the main road. It would be south of the bridge under a service road for access to the hotel and rear of Mill Street.
Oxford Cambridge Arc
West Oxford could find itself at the west end of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The expressway aspect of the proposal appears to have been shelved.
The Government has however opened a consultation about the ‘vision’ which opened this week: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/creating-a-vision-for-the-oxford-cambridge-arc
There are strong views regarding the helpfulness of the project and its potential environmental impact. Here are some of the links where the different perspectives can be considered. The major concerns are the area in question may not have the water resources to support the development, and developments will threaten already crowded areas. Much of the development (except for the East/West rail upgrade) is based on road development and building in countryside areas.
About the public consultation on the Oxford-Cambridge Arc
Earlier this year, the government launched the process to develop a long-term Spatial Framework for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The government’s ambition is to support a better, more sustainable approach to planning for growth and investment in the area. The Spatial Framework will be a long-term strategic plan for the Arc up to 2050, led by the government, and informed by engagement with local communities and stakeholders.
On 20 July 2021, the government launched a public consultation on Creating a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, the first of three that it intends to undertake as it develops the Spatial Framework over the next two years. This 12-week consultation, which closes on 12 October, seeks to hear from people in all parts of the Arc, or those who have an interest in the Arc, to inform a vision for the Spatial Framework. It also seeks views on the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, which aims to address environmental alongside social and economic issues and will ensure that sustainability is at the heart of the Spatial Framework development.
The digital engagement platform will provide all local stakeholders with the opportunity to respond with their views on the approach to the vision so far. These complementary workshops, co-designed with MHCLG’s partner, Policy Lab, will provide space for more qualitative feedback and in-depth engagement on the core themes and questions in the consultation.
POETS have offered a critical review.
POETS (Planning Oxfordshire’s Environment & Transport Sustainably) is a group of senior planning, environment and transport professionals and academics focused primarily on planning and transport in Oxfordshire.
The POETS group has prepared a paper on the so-called Oxford-Cambridge Arc which you can find here: https://www.poetsplanningoxon.uk/poets-oxcam-arc-critical-assessment-paper-210721.pdf
STARC –Stop the ARC
Information about the further criticism can be found on this website: https://www.noexpressway.org/
A YouTube clip from BBC news summarises the view and a recent press release, which you can download below, has outlined the issues and criticism.