Meeting of OxPA
28th July 2020 via Zoom
Notes of meeting to be circulated to OxPA membership
Attendees: Sushila Dhall (Chair), Keith Frayn, Don O’Neal, Peter Headicar, Ruth Davis, Susanna Pressel, Patrick Lingwood, Chris Cowley (Secretary)
Patrick Lingwood, recently promoted to the role of Active Travel Hub Lead for the County Council, gave an overview of the LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) which was published in March, shortly before Lockdown and is now approved as County Council policy.
Patrick’s promotion will take effect from Monday 3rd August. In time he will have two other members of staff working with him. His presentation highlighted a number of statistics about walking and cycling in Oxford:
- Oxford is consistently in the Top Ten of cities for the percentage of adults walking.
- The percentage of utility walking is higher in the City whereas the percentage of leisure walking is higher in the County.
- 44% of adults in the City walk 5 times a week, equating to around 100,000 walking trips per day.
- 24% of trips into the City Centre are on foot (51% by bus; 45 % by car).
- There are an average of 32,000 pedestrians on Cornmarket each day.
- Surveys of streets in the City Centre noted congested footways, inadequate crossings, etc.
- The County Council will carry out an audit to better understand the needs of pedestrians in City Centre streets (but they are aware that many streets are not up to standard). Shopping surveys will also be undertaken.
- Areas of concern include the pedestrian route in from the railway station; St Giles; Broad Street; St Aldates and the High Street.
- Next steps include: updating the Walking Design Guide; extending the CPZs; preventing pavement parking; ensuring footways are a minimum of 2m wide; improving pedestrian crossings (the timings of mid-block crossings have been improved during Lockdown); creating Quality Pedestrian Corridors where pedestrians have priority; improving the cycle path on Magdalen Bridge.
Patrick’s presentation was followed by a wide-ranging discussion in which a number of points were raised:
- The proposed scheme for the Woodstock Road assumes that Connecting Oxford will have been introduced and that traffic levels will have reduced.
- The Botley Road improvements are due to install ‘entry treatment’ on all side roads. These would also be installed as part of the Woodstock Road scheme.
- There is an expectation that central government will help with funding for LCWIP plans.
- Patrick reported that he is not keen on cycle lanes on pavements as they reduce the width of the footway. However, many cyclists (or would-be cyclists) do not feel safe on the roadway even in a designated cycle path. A government paper published today stated that it would not fund new shared foot/cycleways.
- Because of the way that funding for road maintenance is allocated, only 6% of the County’s maintenance is available for both roads and footways in the City. This explains why the City’s footways are in such a dreadful state of repair.
- There is no county or national standard for the quality of footways.
- Both the County and central government support Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and there are several in the pipeline in different parts of the City.
- The government paper published today focused primarily on cycling and failed to address the needs of pedestrians.
- Experience in Walthamstow suggests that local traders benefit from increased footfall in LTNs once the scheme has settled down.
- Parking revenue from Broad Street and St Giles is important to the County Council and would be lost if these streets were pedestrianised.
- Moving kerbs to extend footways is very expensive.
- Our new website should provide information about who to contact about overhanging vegetation on footways and pavement parking.
- The County Council needs to receive positive feedback about the Connecting Oxford bus gates scheme to counter the negative comments they are receiving.
Patrick was thanked for his work on the LCWIP and for talking to the meeting.