County council studies could bring major benefits to city transport corridors
Reports which highlight possible proposals to improve travel on three key corridors into Oxford have been published today by Oxfordshire County Council.
More than £30million could be spent on measures which would benefit pedestrians, public transport and cyclists on Botley, Woodstock and Banbury Roads to deliver important parts of the council’s Oxford Transport Strategy.
Oxfordshire is a growing county - 85,000 new jobs and 100,000 new homes are 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. Botley, Woodstock and Banbury Roads are key corridors into and out of the city – as well as being popular with drivers they are seen by the county council as key to increasing the number of people walking, cycling and using public transport.
These three corridors are key routes into the city, and ones that are also likely to be subject to development proposals in the near future such as the Northern Gateway, hence why they were chosen as the first corridor studies.
The challenge now is to secure the money. This may seem like a big challenge, but Oxfordshire County Council has a strong track record for succeeding and investing many millions in the transport system.
Doing these studies also mean that we have a useful tool which can help to secure developer contributions for highway improvements.”
To get to this stage a consultation event was held for each of the corridor studies at the start of the process, where key stakeholders commented in detail on existing problems along the corridors, as well as potential opportunities for improvement.
The studies are a ‘first step’ in the process of improvements. Although no funds are currently available to undertake improvements, it is hoped that the studies themselves could be used to bid for future funds to enable measures to be implemented.
For Botley Road there are proposals for cycle lanes, including some ‘hybrid’ lanes which segregate cyclists from vehicle and pedestrian areas, improvements to pedestrian crossings and enhancements for public transport.
On Woodstock and Banbury roads, enhanced bus lanes, more cycle lanes, pedestrian enhancements as well as some junction modifications have been suggested. High level cost estimates, broken down into sections of the routes, are included in the studies.