Council contemplates idea of new park and rides
A study which could lead to up to five new park and ride sites being built to serve Oxfordshire has been published.
Oxfordshire County Council, through the Oxford Transport Strategy (OTS), part of Local Transport Plan 4, is proactively working to find solutions to the demands that are increasingly being placed on the road network by current and projected growth.
In order to reduce congestion within the city and on the approaches to it, the Oxford Transport Strategy proposes a major expansion and reconfiguration of the Park & Ride system to intercept more car trips earlier in their journeys and further away from the city.
In addition to new park and ride sites, the OTS proposed a network of “Rapid Transit” public transport routes to provide an uplift to transport connectivity in the city, including links between the proposed new sites and the city’s “Eastern Arc” (broadly speaking the Headington/Cowley area).
The report is the latest step in the process of delivering solutions - The park and ride study has reviewed the locations proposed as part of the Oxford Transport Strategy, and made specific recommendations on where new park and ride sites should be located, following an assessment of the corridors.
New sites are proposed at Eynsham, Cumnor, Lodge Hill, Sandford, and Oxford Airport. phased over the next 15 years.
County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for Environment and Economy, said: “Oxford opened the world’s first park and ride in the 1970s and the demand for better and more innovative transport solutions has been growing ever since.
“Oxfordshire is a growing county with 85,000 new jobs and 100,000 new homes forecast for the county up to 2031 meaning that long term solutions are needed so that the transport system meets the demands of the future.
“Of course this is only a technical study – a starting point for developing plans and proposals. No decisions have been taken yet and some of the sites may not be taken forward for many years.
“As well as looking for opportunities for new park and rides the county council believes that there is a continued role for the three inner sites (Peartree, Seacourt and Redbridge) in the city’s transport network and look forward to working with the city council to look in more detail at opportunities for these sites.
“The fact that the county council is doing the work on this and a range of other projects across the county means that we are able to proactively respond to future challenges. ”
The study looked at the “corridors” into Oxford identified in the OTS and identified a preferred site along each corridor.
As part of the work, modelling has been undertaken to help work out infrastructure and bus service requirements. The study also recommends the phasing of how new sites should be taken forward.
Any site identified as a new Park and Ride will need to be taken through the district councils’ Local Plan processes, which includes several rounds of public consultation. Further work is needed on each site in order to progress to planning application stage, and it is envisaged that sites will be taken forward individually, with full public consultation undertaken as part of the planning application stage.