Matt Oliver’s article in last Monday’s Oxford Mail is hugely significant, because it highlights so many threads coming together. It has been assessed that the county needs around 100,000 new homes by 2031, many for commuters working in the city … Continue reading
An article today in The Oxford Mail raises the possibility of creating an integrated transport system for Oxford and the surrounding area, starting with a ‘Swift Rail’ line. This line would connect Kidlington to Oxford and extend to Cowley using the … Continue reading
After last year’s consultation about options for relieving congestion on the A40 between Witney and Wolvercote, the County Council has published its preferred option with the expectation that it will receive cabinet approval shortly. They propose to make the road … Continue reading
The County Council’s consultation on investing in the A40 is premature. It ignores the pending review of the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan; Local Plans which will determine where new development and the traffic it generates will go have still not been finished; the County doesn’t explain how any of the options tie in with its long-term transport plan LTP4. We urgently need a properly-coordinated strategic development plan for the whole of the Central Oxfordshire region
People are being asked to choose between options without having the facts they need, such as traffic volumes. The bottleneck at the Wolvercote roundabout is already being addressed, so its far from clear whether anything needs to be done now. A number of other key questions require answers if meaningful consideration of ‘solutions’ is to be given, and it is not clear whether these questions have been properly considered in the preparation of the consultation.
You can read our full response on this link and a short summary in our Press Release under ‘Continue reading’).Continue reading
OXFORD CIVIC SOCIETY Response to Oxfordshire County Council consultation
We have some serious criticisms to make regarding the circumstances within which this consultation is being conducted, as well as observations on the analysis of the problems which the proposed options for action might be intended to address, and on the various solutions suggested.
Strategic planning void
The consultation material provides no explanation of why it is necessary to come to a view at the present time about longer term options for the A40 corridor. It is entirely premature to present the public with specific transport options purported to cost £100m and more in the absence of a coherent Oxford-regional land use or development strategy for a similar, i.e. longer-term time frame. Public investments on this scale will depend for their justification on facilitating particular major developments and alleviating highway congestion through the promotion of more efficient and sustainable transport modes.
It has been reported that the Oxfordshire Strategic Economic Plan will be reviewed and updated between November 2015 and March 2016, and it is inevitable that this review will consider development options likely to have a bearing on priorities for transport improvements across the Central Oxfordshire region, including for the A40 corridor. The current consultation is therefore premature on this count, since it is impossible for anyone, least of all the general public to reach appropriate conclusions on strategic highway improvement options when such uncertainty prevails. This consultation fails to make any reference to the forthcoming SEP review.Continue reading
This editorial appeared in The Oxford Times on Thursday 30 April 2015. Ambitious idea to run trams through city.