FROM YVONNE CONSTANCE, OCC CABINET MEMBER FOR ENVIRONMENT
Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council have been working together on bold measures to tackle congestion on routes into and around Oxford, particularly the ‘eastern arc’ that links north, east and southern Oxford outside the city centre. The continued growth in journey numbers as new jobs are created in and around the city means that decisive action is needed.
Severe traffic congestion is also having a negative impact on existing bus services including from the rural areas. With bus journey times worsening, operators are having to put more buses on the road to maintain timetables. This, together with falling passenger numbers is threatening the viability of bus services. If not addressed, this unsustainable trend could see a severe impact on less profitable city and rural services.
Although the actual changes to the transport system are in Oxford we expect the benefits to extend much wider as they will reduce congestion and improve connectivity for journeys into and around the city. In particular, new high frequency bus and Park & Ride services, will connect people living in rural areas and county towns to key employment sites in Oxford, as well as a new fast orbital route across the eastern arc.
We have done quite a bit of work on the proposals and are now looking for input from residents, employers and people who travel into the city before developing a full business case. We have already had some positive engagement with employers in the eastern arc, though we are well aware these proposals are likely to raise some concerns.
We would very much like to hear the views of residents outside the city with an interest in improved transport connections into and around Oxford. You can find more details about the project and information on how to comment here:
I would be very grateful if you could circulate this message within your local network and consider whether to provide a response on behalf of your parish or town. Please do get in touch if you would like any further information – firstname.lastname@example.org.