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Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan

Proposals aim to make Oxford and surrounding villages a safer, greener place to live, work and visit

About the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan (COTP)

The Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan has been developed as part of the countywide Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP).

The LTCP sets a clear vision to deliver a net-zero transport system that enables Oxfordshire to thrive, protects the environment and makes the county a better place to live for all residents.

It includes ambitious targets such as:

  • reducing 1 in 4 car trips by 2030
  • delivering a net-zero transport network by 2040 and
  • having zero, or as close as possible, road fatalities or life-changing injuries by 2050.

To achieve this, we are now developing area travel plans across Oxfordshire. The first to be developed is the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan covering the urban area of Oxford, the immediate movement and connectivity corridors to and from the city, as well as the main villages that lie on these corridors (Kidlington, Eynsham, Botley, Cumnor, Kennington and Wheatley).

Why is it needed?

In Central Oxfordshire, we need to look at options that free up limited road space to create a place where buses are fast, affordable and reliable, where people can walk and cycle, in pleasant and safe environments, and where high polluting, unnecessary, individual car journeys take a back seat so that zero-emission buses, taxis and delivery vans are the norm, and that those who need to take essential journeys by car can do so without congestion.

The key challenges for Central Oxfordshire are:

  • Climate and emissions:  Exceedance of legal emission levels and the need to rapidly reduce carbon emissions from all transport related activities.
  • Housing, jobs, and regeneration: Over the period 2011 to 2031, 100,000 new homes will be built in Oxfordshire, with at least 15,000 required to meet Oxford City’s unmet housing need.
  • Attractive sustainable travel: Levels of congestion across the area cause unreliable journey times for many people.  Based on current trends, increased demand for movement in the area will exacerbate congestion in future years.  Space efficient travel options like public transport and active travel, can help address this challenge. At present, sustainable travel options in the area have issues including:
    • Time and reliability - Average bus speeds in Oxford have been declining on key routes to and from the city centre and employment sites, with only 8mph achieved between the JR hospital and city centre via Cowley Centre during weekday peaks.
    • Safety – The Oxfordshire Cycle Survey 2019 identified ‘Traffic Safety’ as the single biggest issue for people cycling in Oxford
  • Equality: The area includes some of the most deprived areas in the county.   
  • Health: Physical inactivity and obesity remains one of the area’s most significant and growing health issues.

What will it achieve?

The draft Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan is designed to achieve:

  • A flagship comprehensive zero-emission bus network, able to travel at the speed limit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week  
  • A comprehensive, safe cycle network, to rival the best in Europe. 
  • Beautifully designed streets and public spaces, with clean air.  
  • A reduced impact of private vehicles where roads are congestion-free for residents, visitors, and businesses to make essential journeys in zero-emission vehicles. 
  • Carbon neutral transport for a carbon neutral city. Prioritising measures and approaches that utilise minimal resources. 
  • A travel hierarchy prioritising sustainable travel and promoting 20-minute neighborhoods where everything people need for their daily lives can be found within a 20-minute walk.  
  • Improved safety realised through a Vision Zero approach to transport safety across the area 
  • An inclusive transport network that improves accessibility for all of our residents 


We are proposing a set of 22 actions to help achieve a sustainable and reliable transport system across the Central Oxfordshire area, including three major transport proposals for Oxford City: traffic filters, a workplace parking levy and zero emission zone.

The three key projects will be subject to detailed and separate consultations to the draft Central Oxfordshire Travel plan.


Activity Date
Consultation on the Draft Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan 22 August – 13 October 2022
Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan approved Cabinet (with amendments) 29 November 2022
Final Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan published Summer 2023
Implementation 2023 - onwards

Frequently asked questions

How will delivery of the plan be funded?

Funding for proposals in the Central Oxfordshire Area Travel Plan (COTP) can come from a range of sources including the Department for Transport and other national and local bidding opportunities; council resources including parking income; Community Infrastructure Levy and s106 developer funding contributions and more. It’s important to note that much of this funding is ring-fenced for specific transport uses only.

As part of the draft COTP, we are proposing a Workplace Parking Levy to cover businesses with more than 10 staff parking spaces inside the Oxford ring road.

As well as the potential to reduce car trips, by law, the funds generated by a Workplace Parling Levy must be used to improve transport in and around the city.

How will the plan be monitored?

A set of key performance indicators have been identified, including monitoring the percentage of residents walking/cycling; bus journey times, bus passenger numbers, transport emissions, number of car trips, years of healthy life lost due to air pollution, number of park and ride passenger journeys, car ownership, percentage of adults/children meeting physical activity recommendations and road/footway and cycle path maintenance.

Where can I read about the Equalities Impact Assessment?

Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan Equalities Impact Assessment (pdf format, 300Kb)