LTP4 - Active and healthy travel

This strategy aims to create the conditions for more people to walk or cycle for more journeys.

Connecting Oxfordshire 2011-2031: Local Transport Plan (LTP4) was updated and adopted in 2016. It includes an Active Healthy Travel Strategy (AHTS) (pdf format, 763Kb)

A further revision to the Local Transport Strategy is being planned for 2019.

The AHTS aims to create the conditions in which more people choose to walk and cycle for more journeys, including those where people use a combination of walking, cycling and public transport to reach their destination (also known as door to door).

Active and healthy travel is more than just another mode of transport. These travel choices have the added benefit of improving personal health and fitness, contributing to cutting congestion and decreasing pollution and can increase community cohesion through greater levels of personal interaction (particularly walking). However, we are aware that many people do not consider walking or cycling due to concerns about safety and personal security. The AHTS aims to address these issues positively.  

Much can be achieved through good highway design and initiatives such as raising awareness of the benefits of walking and cycling and promoting those routes that make good provision for pedestrians and cyclists. 

We have developed new cycle and walking design standards to help achieve this.

New walking and cycling design standards

The purpose of the Cycling Design Standards (pdf format, 1.2Mb) and Walking Design Standards (pdf format, 2.6Mb) is to set a high standard for the design of streets and spaces to ensure that the needs of pedestrians and cyclists are considered first, particularly in new developments.

Although walking and cycling are both active and healthy modes of travel, they are not the same thing. Pedestrians and cyclists are both vulnerable to and restricted by motor traffic and have their own unique set of needs which need to be addressed when creating places. We have therefore produced separate design standards for each mode that illustrate current best practice.

The documents are designed as guidance tools to be used throughout the development process by:

  • developers
  • masterplanners
  • urban and landscape designers
  • county and district land use and transport  planners
  • development control planners
  • scheme sponsors
  • highways engineers
  • highways maintenance teams. 

How will the design standards be used?

The design standards are intended to be a guidance tool that informs the design and development of schemes from early pre-application conversations through to building on site. The process is broadly summarised in the flow chart (pdf format, 311Kb).

These new design standards supersede the guidance previously contained within the walking and cycling sections of our Residential Roads Design Guide (RRDG). As such those involved in development in Oxfordshire should refer to both the Walking and Cycling Design Guidance as well as the RRDG throughout the design and delivery stages of all new schemes to ensure best practice highway design is adopted in Oxfordshire that supports the needs of all road users.

We encourage scheme designers to familiarise themselves with all available guidance prior to submitting a planning application and particularly welcome early discussions through the pre-application advice service.

The design standards are an output from one of the aims of the Active Healthy Travel Strategy (pdf format, 763Kb). They also align with several LTP4 policies, including:

  • Policy 19: Oxfordshire County Council will encourage the use of modes of travel associated with healthy and active lifestyles.
  • Policy 34: Oxfordshire County Council will require the layout and design of new developments to proactively encourage walking and cycling, especially for local trips, and allow developments to be served by frequent, reliable and efficient public transport.

Active and Healthy Travel Steering Group 

This group oversees the promotion, development and implementation of proposals to support sustainable, active and healthy travel, focusing on cycling and walking. . The group provides a structure for positive discussion, collaboration and agreement between all six Oxfordshire Councils and sustainable travel groups.

Sustainable travel groups represented on the steering group include the Oxfordshire Cycling Network (OCN), a county-wide network that brings together people from cycling and supportive organisations to work towards better facilities and more cycling in Oxfordshire, and Oxford Pedestrians Association (OxPA) who advise on walking issues. 

Together with OCN and OxPA, the group’s core membership also includes representatives from Oxfordshire County Council’s Transport Policy team who have overall responsibility for AHT, Oxfordshire County Council Public Health, all five Oxfordshire Local Planning Authorities, and  Active Oxfordshire. The group meets quarterly and is also supported by project representatives as and when required.

The group are currently working through the projects listed in the implementation plan (page 19 of the AHTS) and on how to embed active and healthy travel in new strategic sites at an early stage.

Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs)

In 2017 the Government published its first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy which set out the Government’s ambition to make walking and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey.

More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy

The Strategy supports the transformation of local areas: change which will tackle congestion, extend opportunity to improved physical and mental health, and which will support local economies.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), as set out in the Strategy, are a new, strategic approach to identifying cycling and walking improvements required at the local level. They enable a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks and form a vital part of the Government’s strategy to increase the number of trips made on foot or by cycle.

As such the Active and Healthy Travel team will be producing initial LCWIPs for Didcot, Bicester and Oxford over the next 18 months. Walking and cycling plans for other parts of the county will be considered through the county council’s forthcoming Local Transport & Connectivity Plan

LCWIPs will:

  • contain a network plan for walking and cycling which identifies preferred routes and core zones for further development.
  • contain a prioritised programme of infrastructure improvements for future investment.
  • set out the underlying analysis carried out and provide a narrative which supports the identified improvements and network.

LCWIPs will assist local authorities (LAs) to:

  • identify cycling and walking infrastructure improvements for future investment in the short, medium and long term.
  • ensure that consideration is given to cycling and walking within both local planning and transport policies and strategies.
  • make the case for future funding for walking and cycling infrastructure.

The introduction of LCWIPs is supported by the National Planning Policy Framework (July 2018) which outlines that planning policies should:

"provide for high quality walking and cycling networks and supporting facilities such as cycle parking (drawing on Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans)."

More details on emerging LCWIPs will be added to this page regularly.