Councils thank residents for huge response to Oxford bus gate survey

Oxfordshire residents, employers, businesses and other organisations have submitted over 7,000 responses to a county council survey on proposals to install two new temporary bus gates in central Oxford to support the city’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council ran the engagement survey to gather views from residents, employers and commuters to an initial proposal. There was a phenomenal response to the survey – the numbers received are far higher than usual for a transport survey. Both councils thank everyone for taking part and contributing to the discussion about transport in Oxford during a time of pandemic.

The new temporary bus gates would be implemented using experimental traffic regulation orders. The proposals considered in the survey are to fit the two temporary bus gates:

  • On Hythe Bridge Street or Worcester Street, between Frideswide Square and Beaumont Street
  • On St Cross Road or South Parks Road, between Parks Road and Manor Road

The responses to the survey are now being analysed and will inform the detailed proposal about the scheme including the specific location of the bus gates, timings and exemptions. The survey responses and the response to formal stakeholder consultation in September will be considered by the Cabinet of the County Council in October 2020 when decisions on whether and how to go ahead with the project will be taken.

Cllr Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment, Oxfordshire County Council said:

“We would like to thank all the residents, employers and other organisations of Oxfordshire for taking the time and care to respond to our survey which will help us to determine the future of the city’s transport plans as part of the recovery. We value the feedback which will now be analysed and a cabinet decision taken in October.”

Cllr Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council, added:

“The large volume of responses shows that the city is actively engaged in a discussion. This discussion is about how we all reboot an economy that’s been locked down and support local businesses and jobs that have been hard hit by coronavirus. The discussion has shown a universal desire to improve our local transport system and find ways to prevent our narrow city centre streets getting clogged up by stop-go traffic. We would like to thank everyone who shared their views on the temporary bus gates in this survey. Now is the time for the councils to consider every response with the same care that people have shown in sharing their views.”

Over two thirds (72% or 5227) of respondents who answered the survey were from within Oxford city or surrounding villages, with 22% or 1576 from postcodes beyond.

Around 4% (or 312) of respondents were representatives from business and other organisations who also took part. Both councils have engaged with a range of business groups, individual businesses and large employers. The City Council emailed city centre businesses on its database and both councils have had numerous conversations with businesses outside of the survey process.

The survey ran from 28 July until 9 August and was open to residents, employers and other organisations across the whole of Oxford and Oxfordshire.