Give us your views on cycle scheme for Bicester

Residents of rapidly growing Bicester are being asked to offer their views in a consultation on a major new cycle scheme to help make the town a safer place to ride and walk to cut vehicle journeys and offer cleaner air.

The proposals for the scheme in Bicester result from an investment by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) with a focus on increasing cycle journeys.

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “This is great news for the growing town of Bicester. The funding from OxLEP recognises the ambition of our active travel plans and enables us to build on our existing commitment to accelerate our bold plans for transforming how people travel and how communities are connected. As Bicester grows, it is vital that this growth is made sustainably so we minimise emissions and car journeys and help the growth be geared to connected and healthy, active communities.”

“Active travel and climate action are at the heart of our plans. We have put forward schemes which will have the greatest impact in terms of air quality, physical activity and environmental benefit. This scheme and that for Witney are projects which go to the heart of supporting healthy and vibrant communities.”

Councillor Lynn Pratt, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Economy, Regeneration and Property, said: “Improving the cycling infrastructure in Bicester is a key part of the Garden Town project, bringing real benefits to residents. By encouraging people out of their cars and onto two wheels, we will not only see improvements to air quality but also support a healthier lifestyle for those choosing to cycle. The greater connectivity will make it even easier for new residents to the south-west of Bicester to get into town, giving the high street shops a welcome boost.”

Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP said: “As the Local Enterprise Partnership for Oxfordshire, we continue to play a vitally important role moving forward, securing investment that enables and unlocks new opportunities for our many businesses and communities right across the county. “We would encourage residents and businesses in Bicester to take part in this upcoming process, as this new cycle scheme continues to evolve.”

The Bicester Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan sets out an ambitious target of doubling sustainable transport, at a minimum, from around 15,000 to 30,000 trips a day within the town.

This means a daily increase from around 3,000 to 9,000 bike trips a day and 18,000 to 24,000 walking journeys a day. It is based on the development and delivery of a comprehensive network of cycle routes across the town by 2031, in tandem with development allocated within the local plan.

A detailed household survey showed that in Bicester, 50 per cent of local car trips were easily replaced by cycling and 25 per cent of car trips by walking.

This proposed scheme incorporates the eastern end of Middleton Stoney Road. This corridor scheme will capture flows from the expanding south and west of Bicester and provide connectivity into the town centre through the central corridor (Oxford Road/Kings End) and Causeway.

The scheme will be complemented by off-road pedestrian and cycle facilities and reduced traffic speeds, creating a safe and attractive environment for those who might have previously driven or taken the bus into town.

The work will be done using an experimental traffic regulation order, which will last for a period of six months. The consultation webpage will be open for the whole six months after implementation for people to offer their views.

The county council is seeking the opinions of residents, visitors and local businesses before the scheme is implemented. The council is running this pre-statutory consultation survey to understand resident expectations and concerns so the output from the consultation will be carefully examined as the scheme progresses to the next stage.

The consultation opens on 21 January and closes at 23.59 on 11 February.

You can learn more about the plans for the scheme in Bicester and examine some frequently asked questions and take part in the consultation on the county council’s website.