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Connecting Oxford is a plan to transform travel within Oxford city, reducing congestion and improving air quality for all.

The two councils, Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Council are working on the plan together. This is because while the roads and travel routes are located in the city according to geography, the county council is responsible for maintaining highways across the whole of the county, including all the villages and towns and the city of Oxford. You can read a description of who is responsible for different aspects of roads and highways, including gullies and road maintenance on this page here.

Cycling Schemes in Oxford - Quickway Cycle Routes

Cycling Schemes in Oxford

Quickway cycle routes provide a much more continuous route for cyclists with minimal delay, diversions or need to stop, allowing a consistent riding speed of 20mph where possible. With a commitment to reduce carbon emissions and make Oxfordshire a healthy place to live and visit, quickways share a Connecting Oxford aim, to improve air quality.

You can read more about Quickways on the following website pages: https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cycle-schemes-for-oxford/

Most of the quickway routes will be installed on busy commuter routes in east Oxford including Cowley Road/Oxford Road, Iffley Road/Henley Avenue/Rose Hill, St Clement’s Street, Donnington Bridge Road and Marston Road.

A consultation on the quickways opened on 20 September and closes at 23.59 on 10 October.  You can have your say, view the plans and examine some frequently asked questions on Let’s Talk Oxfordshire.

Oxford City Council Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) Website

Zero Emission Zone

Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot is set to launch in Oxford in February 2022, with the registration system for exemptions and discounts going live in December 2021.

One of the aims of the ZEZ is to help reduce air pollution, which is a core aim of Connecting Oxford.  There are special pages on the Oxford City Council website which provide much more information about the ZEZ, you can go to them by clicking here: oxford.gov.uk/zez

There is also more information on the Oxfordshire County Council website on the following pages: oxfordshire.gov.uk/zez

The exact start date for the ZEZ pilot will be confirmed later this year, followed by a review of the timeline for the wider ZEZ to cover most of Oxford city centre.

Trial sites for 20 mph speed limits in South Oxfordshire

Trial sites for 20 mph speed limits

A 20mph speed limit will be introduced in Cuxham in South Oxfordshire from September 2021, becoming the first of five trial sites, which could pave the way for a countywide road safety programme. The introduction was approved following a consultation process in which 82 per cent of residents who responded were in favour of the speed reduction.

One of the aims of the speed limit trial is to enable more people to feel safe to walk and cycle, something the Connecting Oxford plan also hopes to encourage. Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said:

“This 20mph approach is required in Oxfordshire if we are to deliver our vision to make active travel, public and shared transport the natural first choice. It is to reduce the speed of vehicles in areas that meet our criteria to reduce the dominance of vehicles, improve the experience of being on streets and making healthy travel safer.”

To read more about the trail please go to the following pages: new.oxfordshire.gov.uk

1. E-scooter trial expands across Oxford

Scooter Trial Expands Across Oxford

Residents and visitors to Oxford can benefit from a further expansion of the city’s e-scooter trial, which will now include a large area of the eastern and southern parts of the city.

Although it is not part of the Connecting Oxford scheme, the trial shares in its aims to support a change in how residents can travel, from private vehicles to zero emission forms including cycling, walking and e-scooters.

For more information about the e-scooter trial, please go to the following pages: https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/e-scooters-expand-across-oxford

Connecting Oxford News

Air Quality in Oxford

Residents in Oxford do not want to return to the levels of air pollution experienced before the pandemic, and want effective measures to ensure this – a new survey by Oxford City Council has found.

The Oxford Residents’ Panel is a representative cross – section of 549 Oxford’s residents and the latest survey asked a range of questions about air quality.

More information about the survey results and methodology can be found on these pages: residents panel members share views

Connecting Oxford News

Have Your Say on Highways & Transport Issues

People who live and work in Oxfordshire are urged to have their say on highways and transport issues around the county, including congestion, safety, cycling and the condition of roads and footpaths.

Oxfordshire County Council has launched a number of roads and transport online surveys, which are open to the public to comment on. The council is keen to hear views as soon as possible but people will have the chance to comment until February 2022.

While these consultations are not part of the Connecting Oxford project, they touch on the subjects it is aiming to tackle, including congestion and cycling.

There are a number of different survey categories, and you can see the list of them and find further information about the consultations by going to these pages: news.oxfordshire.gov.uk

Low Traffic Neighbourhood Oxford

Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN)

An LTN is an area where through-traffic is prevented to create streets with fewer vehicle movements so that residents can enjoy a quieter neighbourhood and feel safer when they walk or cycle. Following the trial implementation of LTNs in Cowley, the council is now planning to expand the trials into new areas of the city.

You can read more about these plans on Oxfordshire Country Council website: proposed new LTNs for Oxford

Although this is not part of the wider Connecting Oxford scheme, it does share similar aims to cut journey times, provide alternative transport options and improve safety.

LTNs can offer a safer environment, where cycling and walking conditions are more pleasant and where these forms of travel, combined with fewer vehicle movements, lead to cleaner air and lower emissions for all. You can read more about Active Travel and LTNs on the following webpages: Active Travel plans 2020-2022

Residents, visitors and local businesses are being asked to share their opinions through a feedback survey on the proposed LTNs before they are implemented. Feedback will be carefully examined and included in the decision-making process.

If the proposed LTNs go ahead, they will be implemented on a six-month experimental basis before any decision is taken on their longer-term status. The council aims to begin the implementation in autumn 2021, subject to initial feedback.

A feedback survey took place between 8 June and 29 June. The results are now being analysed, and decisions will be taken about whether to trial the LTNs at a public meeting on 29 July.

For more information about this meeting and other key dates please go to these pages: consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk

A40 Road Improvements Oxford

A40 improvements in West Oxfordshire

The delivery of infrastructure is key to supporting sustainable development in Witney, Eynsham and related new developments in West Oxfordshire. Six major schemes are planned which will deliver:

• a new park and ride

• an extension of the dual carriageway around Witney

• new bus lanes and junction improvements.

Although they are not part of Connecting Oxford the plans will support the scheme’s overall aims to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and are to address traffic and transport issues which will result in better transport links, the creation of new jobs and housing, reduced emissions, and more sustainable travel options.

You can read more about the plans on these pages: Oxfordshire transport upgrades.

There is also further information on the following pages, plus information about way to learn more or share your views: Oxfordshire future transport projects.

Preparing Oxfordshire for the electric vehicle revolution

Oxfordshire will be one of the first places in the UK to put in place a comprehensive strategy to make it easier for motorists to join the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

Although this isn’t part of the Connecting Oxford plan it will help to improve air quality by reducing air pollution from the emissions from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Improving air quality is one of the key aims of the Connecting Oxford plan.

On Tuesday (16 March), Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet adopted the Oxfordshire EV infrastructure strategy (OEVIS) that sets out key actions to allow more drivers to go electric by 2025.

You can read more details about this on the following pages of the county council website: Oxfordshire.gov.uk

Connecting Oxford News

Oxford City Council first Action Plan for bringing about a net zero carbon city by 2040 or earlier

The Net Zero Oxford Action Plan sets out the actions the City Council is, or will be, taking directly, as well as those in which it is seeking to partner with others.

You can read more information about this plan, which includes transport as one of its six themes on the following pages: Oxford.gov.uk

Connecting Oxford News

Residents Panel reveals support for Climate Change Action

The Oxford Residents’ Panel is organised by the City Council and has 550 members and is a representative cross-section of Oxford’s residents. The main aim of the Residents Panel is to ensure the views of a wide range of residents are reflected in consultations that the council runs.

It isn’t part of the Connecting Oxford plan but the Panel does sometimes explore topics which relate to the aims of Connecting Oxford.

In response to the survey among panel members which was carried out between 21 January 2021 and 2 February 2021, where 184 members took part, strong support was expressed for action which tackles air pollution and the effects of climate change.

For example 80% of Panel members strongly agreed or agreed that Oxford must take preventative measures to protect citizens from air pollution, even if it means preventing polluting cars from entering the city, and 86% strongly agreed or agreed that Oxford must take effective measures even if this requires reallocating public space to walking, cycling, and better transport.

You can read more results from the Residents Panel by going to the following page of the City Council website: Survey results reveals concern about climate change.