OxPA meeting
Tuesday June 30 2009

Local Transport Plan 3

Speaker: Owen South from Oxfordshire County Council Transport Team

Since the Local Elections there have been changes in County Councillors with responsibilities for transport. Councillor Hudspeth is to move from current his role but will still oversee important initiatives such as 20mph and Transform Oxford.

There have been three Local Transport Plans (LPTs):
LPT 1 was quite radical, reflecting Government policies on sustainability and climate change. The emphasis of LTP2 was on economics and traffic congestion. LT3 renews concern for climate change but will include aspects of health, especially obesity and physical fitness. Now there will be 20-year policies with 5-year implementation of schemes. The previous policy of subsuming walking and cycling within “Active Travel” has been revoked and there are now to be separate walking and cycling strategies.

LPT3 is to be developed in Stages:
1. July to September 2009 there will be setting of overall objectives – including health and climate change.
2. Over the same period there is to be an environmental assessment.
3. January to March 2010 scenarios will be explored, similar to national Government determined such as business needs and traffic congestion.
3. December 2009 to January 2010: development of policies including for walking.
4. November to December 2010: programme building
5. April 2010: prioritising schemes.
6. August to October 2010: final draft.

Halcrow will be the consultants as usual.

Walking Policy
The Pedestrian Strategy will include pedestrian audits, possibly by David Early who is currently working on this.

Questions and Discussion covered following topics:
Probable impact of Climate Change Bill?
Need for public to be told result of consultations – and reasons for particular decisions.
Need for better design of consultations – much criticism of glossy leaflets with minute response boxes for Yes/No answers.
How precisely will Oxfordshire County Council work with health Authorities – Muir Gray might facilitate better collaboration.
Need for audit of existing installations – and budget to cover their upkeep.
Use of Focus Groups and “braining-storming” sessions with small numbers of relevant people to generate new ideas– also need for access to local data for better-informed comment.
Need to use experience of County towns in non-central areas of Oxford, also to plan for new growth in the City eg Blackbird Leys.
Need for non-radial movements in and around the City.
Need to include routes between town and country for pedestrians and cyclists.
Costing of schemes early in process – and how to protect money for schemes. There has been unhappy experience of small but important schemes being squeezed out in previous LTPs.
Need to incorporate developments by Chiltern Railways.
Need to connect rail and bus stations.
There are strong arguments to justify a Congestion Charge in Oxford but this is unlikely to be implemented by the current County Council.
Congestion on footways is not measured or properly catered for.
Need for trains and buses to carry more bicycles.
Car-free housing should be encouraged; this will require Planning and Transport to work together.