Calls to cut Oxford traffic, bus compared to horse and cart

Faster public transport will increase ridership and reduce carbon emissions, say local environmental groups. 

A coalition of campaign organisations in Oxford have welcomed proposals aimed at reducing traffic levels in the city, in turn speeding up journey times on buses Oxfordshire Liveable Streets has labelled ‘no faster than horse and cart’.

The city council’s own figures support the claim, with average bus speeds clocking in at just 10mph, and particularly busy routes to and from central areas and large employment sites running even slower. 

‘This shows we need to modernise our city and make it much easier to live in and get around. By restricting polluting vehicles at key points as the council are proposing, we can make it much quicker to use public transport and make Oxford liveable,’ says Scott Urban, spokesperson for Oxfordshire Liveable Streets, which is co-ordinating 16 groups under the umbrella CoHSAT Oxfordshire, or Coalition of Health Streets and Active Travel.

Policymakers are now launching a consultation over plans to install six trial traffic filters on key routes across Oxford, which the council claims will ‘improve bus services and journey times, reduce walking and cycling accidents, and improve air quality across the city’. Essentially, the scheme will prevent cars without a permit from entering certain areas, while vehicles such as buses, coaches, taxis, vans, mopeds and HGVs will have permission.

‘Air pollution stunts our children’s lungs and is associated with diabetes and dementia. While we’d like to see the filters also used to tackle pollution from diesel vans, these plans are a good first step in attempts to make our city a greener and more pleasant place to live and grow up,’ added Urban. 

Earlier this year, Oxford published a roadmap to a sustainable transport network. Find out more here

Image: Liv Cashman


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