Oxfordshire County Council has launched its first draft area travel plan for public feedback following the adoption of its county-wide transport and connectivity plan, last month.
The Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP), adopted in July, sets the transport vision for the county and along with key targets including the development of area travel plans to cover all aspects of travel from private car journeys, cycling, freight, bus, and rail journeys.
The LTCP includes ambitious targets, such as reducing car trips by a quarter by 2030, delivering a net-zero transport network by 2040 and having zero, or as close as possible, road fatalities or life-changing injuries by 2050.
To achieve this, it is now developing area travel plans across Oxfordshire. The first to be developed is the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan covering Oxford, Kidlington, Eynsham, Botley, Cumnor, Kennington and Wheatley.
Councillor Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy, said: “The draft Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan sets out our vision to develop a world-leading, innovative, inclusive and carbon neutral transport system with a focus on how people move quickly and safely around the area.
“In particular, we need to look at options that re-allocate the limited road space we have to create a place where buses are fast, affordable, and reliable; where people can walk and cycle in pleasant and safe environments; and where those who have to use a car can do so on less congested roads, with more people using other means to get around.”
The Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan sets out 22 actions to help achieve a sustainable and reliable transport system providing the people of central Oxfordshire with:
- A flagship, zero-emission bus network with new and improved routes, able to travel at the speed limit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- A comprehensive and safe cycle and footpath network for pedestrians and cyclists
- A significant reduction in congestion on our roads, to enable those who need to make essential trips by car or van to do so
- Beautifully designed streets and public spaces, with clean air
- 20-minute neighbourhoods: well-connected and compact areas around the city of Oxford where everything people need for their daily lives can be found within a 20-minute walk
- Carbon neutral transport for a carbon neutral city
- Improved safety realised through a Vision Zero approach to transport safety across the area
- An inclusive transport network that improves accessibility for all of our residents
The draft plan also outlines three major transport proposals for Oxford: traffic filters, a workplace parking levy, and an expanded zero emission zone, all of which will be consulted on in more detail and separately to the area travel plan.
Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said:
“Effective public transport is key to many of our priorities as a council and ensuring we provide options that are accessible, reliable, faster and greener is essential to providing our communities with real travel choices.
“But to make public transport, like taking the bus, an attractive option for people, we need to reduce congestion. Four full buses can remove half a mile of traffic from our roads.
“That’s why the transport vision, adopted by the council in July, seeks to reduce the need to travel and private car use by making walking, cycling, public and shared transport the natural first choice.”
Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change Delivery & Environment said:
“Congestion in Oxford and surrounding areas, along with car dependency are contributing to delayed journeys and the worsening climate emergency. Transport is a significant source of air pollution in the city, with at least one in 17 deaths in Oxford related to our poor air quality.
“We need to work together to make it easier to travel more sustainably. That will benefit not only our health but also protect our environment.”
Cllr Enright said: “We have provided the vision; we now want your feedback to help shape the final travel plan for central Oxfordshire. Help us create a cleaner, greener, safer and more inclusive central Oxfordshire in which everyone can thrive.”