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Response to Local Transport and Connectivity Plan

By Michael Pawley Stadhampton Parish Council

Sunday, 14 June 2020

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Stadhampton Parish Council Contributor

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The Council recently responded to a consultation on the Oxfordshire County Council Draft Local Transport and Connectivity Plan.

Overview

Stadhampton Parish Council has declared a climate emergency, in line with SODC, OCC and central Government. Transport is now the UK’s largest source of carbon emissions, accounting for about a third of our total carbon output - and almost two thirds of road transport emissions are from cars. As a village outside Oxford, we understand how dependent people currently are on their cars to get around.

The Council commented in detail on:

1. An improved and coordinated county-wide bus service

Recommendations:

We would like to see:

- Bus travel speeded up by measures to cut delays by cutting congestion throughout Oxford.

- New traffic management schemes to help provide better bus services.

- An Oxfordshire Transport Authority for the county (similar to Transport for London), which would deliver an integrated system to provide good access to all major settlements in the county.

- Free bus travel for under 30s (as it is for older people). It would be beneficial to have consultation on the case for all local bus travel to be free (as it is in a growing number of cities across the world), paid for in part by road pricing or congestion charges.

- disincentives for car travel into Oxford.

- could an alternative be explored that uses a combination of technology and electrification? The pick me bus in Oxford uses an app to pick passengers up from any location (away from bus stops and to drop them off). If the pick me up app could be expanded to South Oxfordshire, it could create intelligent bus routes for regular commuters based on their app requests. A smaller, electric bus could potentially be used: it’s hard to envisage any 30-40 seater bus being full but smaller more versatile electric buses, with intelligent bus routes dictated by app demand, could provide a solution. And if electrification is a step too far at this point, simply expanding pick me up to South Oxfordshire could be useful, firstly to ascertain where the regular commuters are, and then to plan intelligent bus routes around them.

2. High quality local cycling and walking facilities

If people are to cycle more we need cycle routes connecting larger towns and villages in rural areas, and proper networks of segregated cycleways in urban areas. These could include ‘cycle streets’ and rural ‘greenways’ - and even the repurposing of portions of roads for bikes.

3. Transport and cleaner air

Electrification of our transport system is an agreed national target. We should look to see this happen as fast as possible to cut pollution in Oxfordshire. Electric charging systems need to be scaled up as quickly as possible. Councils and other public bodies should also take a lead to ensure that all their vehicles are zero-emission. There are interesting calls for an ambitious rail development strategy to create the space for both long distance travel and a ‘Metrorail’ system for the county. These should be given serious consideration.

A summary of the full response will be included in the papers for the Council meeting to be held on 7th July.

Contact Information

Michael Pawley

Find Stadhampton Parish Council

Nelhurst Cottage, Copson Lane, Stadhampton, Stadhampton, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX44 7TZ

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