LTP4 - Active and healthy travel

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

The local transport plan

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)

The plan aims to create the conditions in which more people choose to walk and cycle for more journeys. This includes journeys where people combine walking, cycling and public transport to reach their destination (known as door to door).

More than just another mode of transport

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
  • decreasing pollution.

Active and healthy travel choices can increase community cohesion through greater levels of personal interaction (particularly walking).

Addressing concerns

We're aware that many people do not consider walking or cycling due to safety and personal security concerns. The AHTS aims to address these issues.  

We can achieve much through:

  • good highway design
  • initiatives such as raising awareness of the benefits of walking and cycling
  • promoting routes that are good for pedestrians and cyclists. 

New walking and cycling design standards

We aim to set a high standard for the design of streets and spaces. For this reason, we have two new design standards:

The needs of pedestrians and cyclists

We want to ensure that we consider the needs of pedestrians and cyclists first, particularly in new developments.

Although walking and cycling are both active and healthy modes of travel, they are not the same.

Pedestrians and cyclists are vulnerable to and restricted by motor traffic. They have their own unique set of needs 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
  • master planners
  • urban and landscape designers
  • county and district land use and transport  planners
  • development control planners
  • scheme sponsors
  • highways engineers
  • highways maintenance teams. 

Related policies

The design standards are 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.

Information for developers - using the design standards

The design standards are intended to guide the design and development of schemes from early pre-application conversations to construction. The process is broadly summarised in the flow chart (pdf format, 311Kb).

These new design standards supersede the guidance previously contained within our Residential Roads Design Guide (RRDG).

Throughout the design and delivery stages of all new schemes, developers in Oxfordshire should refer to:

  • walking and cycling design guidance
  • residential roads design guide.

This will ensure Oxfordshire adopts best practice highway design that supports the needs of all road users.

Pre-application

Scheme designers should familiarise themselves with all available guidance before submitting a planning application. We welcome early discussions through the pre-application advice service.

Active and Healthy Travel Steering Group

This group oversees the promotion, development and implementation of proposals to support sustainable, active and healthy travel. Its focus is on cycling and walking.

The group provides a structure for positive discussion, collaboration and agreement between Oxfordshire's councils and sustainable travel groups.

What the group is working on

The group is 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.

Sustainable travel groups

Sustainable travel groups are represented on the steering group. 

Oxfordshire Cycling Network (OCN) is a county-wide network. People from cycling and support organisations work towards better facilities and more cycling in Oxfordshire.

Oxford Pedestrians Association (OxPA) advise on walking issues. 

Other members

The group’s core membership includes representatives from:

  • Oxfordshire County Council’s Transport Policy Team (with overall responsibility for AHT)
  • Oxfordshire County Council Public Health
  • all five Oxfordshire local planning authorities
  • Active Oxfordshire.

The group meets quarterly and is also supported by project representatives as and when required.

Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs)

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

LCWIPs are a strategic approach to identifying cycling and walking improvements at the local level. They enable a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks over the next ten years. And form a vital part of the Government’s strategy to increase the number of trips made on foot or by cycle.

Approved LCWIPs

Our first LCWIP is the Oxford Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan (pdf format, 4.7 Mb). Cabinet approved it on 17 March 2020. The plan includes the Oxford cycle and walking network map (pdf format, 4.6 Mb), which will form the basis for future improvements.

On 15 September 2020, Cabinet approved a second plan. LCWIP: the Bicester Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (pdf format, 3.5Mb), includes a town map (pdf format, 2.8Mb) and a town and villages map (pdf format, 3Mb).

Future LCWIPs

In co-operation with the districts, we are producing additional LCWIPs for:

  • Abingdon
  • Banbury
  • Didcot
  • Kidlington.

LCWIPs will also be considered for other parts of the county as funding or opportunities arise.

Local Transport and Connectivity Plan

We'll include LCWIPs as supporting documents for the forthcoming Local Transport and Connectivity Plan. We will consult on the plan later in 2020.

LCWIPs will:

  • set out an analysis of the current network and opportunities for improvements
  • contain a network plan for walking and cycling which identifies preferred routes and core routes for further development
  • contain a prioritised programme of infrastructure improvements for future investment.

LCWIPs will assist local authorities 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 local planning and transport policies and strategies
  • make a case for future funding for walking and cycling infrastructure.

The National Planning Policy Framework (July 2018) supports the introduction of LCWIPs. The framework states 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)."

Oxfordshire Cycling Survey 2019

We did the Oxfordshire Cycle Survey 2019 (pdf format, 824Kb) survey to support the production of Oxfordshire’s LCWIPs.

The survey was hosted on our consultation website for two months, from 6 June 2019 to 8 August 2019. The consultation invited all cyclists living in Oxfordshire to take part, but particularly those living in the three LCWIP towns of Oxford, Didcot and Bicester.

What we want to understand

  • Cyclists’ main problems when cycling in terms of location and type of problem.
  • Cyclists’ route choice in terms of road types and paths.
  • Factors (gender, age, cyclist experience) that affect cyclists’ route choice.

Over the two months, there was an amazing response with 3754 completed surveys, comprising:

  • 2559 (68% of total responses) from Oxford City,
  • 436 (12%) from Didcot,
  • 213 (6%) from Bicester and
  • 546 (15%) from the rest of Oxfordshire.

The data was used extensively in the Oxford LCWIP and will be used to prepare other future LCWIPs.