Active travel - 2020-2022

Active travel schemes to be delivered by DfT funding up to March 2022

Introduction

The Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund supports plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians and create an environment that is safer for walking and cycling.

The fund has been allocated in two phases. Read the details of phase 1.  

As part of our bid for Phase 2, we were advised that the indicative allocation for the second tranche was £2.3m. We submitted a more ambitious bid worth approximately £4.5m to access any potential underspend in the DfT Tranche 2 funding.

Oxfordshire’s winning bid was subsequently announced on 13 November 2020 by the Department for Transport (DfT) and we received the maximum award of £2.98million giving us 125% of our original allocation. Funding has also been received from OxLEP which is primarily being used for schemes outside of the city in the Bicester and Witney areas which formed part of the original submission.

The measures announced are either permanent or have the scope to become permanent. The schemes will involve full consultation to consider feedback from residents and stakeholders and will account for a spectrum of views.

Safer for walking and cycling

Our proposals have been developed and prioritised in line with DfT criteria, which says that schemes should create an environment that is safer for both walking and cycling and can be delivered within the 2020/2021 financial year (funding must be spent by 31 March 2021). 

Where possible, our proposed schemes reflect the suggestions made by councillors, residents, local special interest groups, and district, town and parish councils. For the Oxford schemes, we based our proposals on the approved Oxford Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)

About the schemes

We are delivering schemes in five areas which include:

Cherwell and West Oxfordshire (Bicester and Witney) which include:

  • Improved / segregated cycle paths
  • Wider pavements
  • Improved crossings for walking and cycling
  • Speed limit reductions
  • Width restriction
  • Upgraded / new crossings

Oxford City: Cowley and Headington; North and West; Littlemore and Rose Hill which include:

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) – creating quiet neighbourhood streets and promoting Active Travel where residents can enjoy their street and feel safer when making local journeys either on foot or by bike. 

The LTN will prevent cut-through car journeys in the neighbourhood by the use of “traffic filters” which can be either planters or bollards. Where there is a bus route, camera enforcement filters will permit buses, taxis and private hire vehicles through, but prevent all other motorised vehicles.

All streets will continue to be accessible to residents, visitors and deliveries by car or van, but drivers may need to choose a different route. The LTN will not affect parking in the area except at the filters where some additional areas of double yellow lines have been introduced for safety reasons and to permit turning traffic.

Quietways - signed cycling routes linking key destinations that follow backstreet routes avoiding some of the busier highly roads in the area. These are great for people who prefer a quieter journey and can also help overcome some of the barriers that might prevent less confident cyclists getting on their bikes. Some Quietways need just signage, other Quietways will be dependent on reducing traffic through the proposed LTNs.

Quickways - cycle routes linking key destinations via main routes into the city centre. They are designed to provide a direct faster route into the centre and generally used by more confident cyclists. The proposed measures are either permanent or have the potential to become permanent. However, some may be introduced on a trial basis initially.

Please find an overview (pdf format, 8Mb) of all the proposals in the Oxford area

At the time of submitting Oxfordshire’s bid for the second round of the government’s Active Travel grant, there was a government emphasis on “significant changes” to the road network, with measures to be taken “as swiftly as possible.” When the second round settlement was announced in November, the emphasis had changed for local authorities to focus on extensive consultation and monitoring.

With this important stipulation, the council had to review the submission to identify schemes that may be at greater risk of non-delivery by the government’s deadline of March 2022. In parallel, more detailed cost estimates have been prepared than were possible within the extremely limited time that was available to prepare the bid.

Following this process, three schemes have been identified for which there is insufficient time or budget within the programme to undertake the required level of assessment and consultation:

  • The right turn prohibition into Donnington Bridge Road from Abingdon Road at the signal junction with Weirs Lane;
  • The bus filter on Warneford Lane, and
  • The bus filter on Cowley Road (near Tesco).

Instead, the council will include them for consideration within the Connecting Oxford project, which will allow more detailed work to understand their impact on the network.

Stakeholder and Public Engagement is proposed throughout development of the designs. The engagement and delivery programme are detailed on scheme specific pages.

It should be noted that if progressed LTNs will be implemented via a legal process called an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO). ETROs are used when it is very difficult to assess the impacts of the scheme beforehand, but the cost of implementation is relatively low.

In an ETRO, the council introduces the scheme as an experiment first and there is then a six-month period after the scheme is introduced when the public can see for themselves the impact of the scheme and the Council can monitor its impacts. At the end of the six-month period, the Council assesses the impacts, including any letters of support or objections, and decides whether to confirm, cancel or extend the ETRO for up to 12 months longer to allow further consultation and monitoring.

Scheme details

Bicester Active Travel Route

Proposals in Bicester are being funded through OxLEP allocation of £1.4m along with proposals in Witney.

Following engagement with residents and organisations in January and February 2020, final scheme designs have been agreed and works began in March 2021 and are anticipated to be largely complete by end of May 2021

 A full report of the results of the consultation, including elements that have been deferred can be found here (link to be provided)

 Summary of works being undertaken include:

  • Off-road shared-use footway and cycleway along Middleton Stoney Road (east of junction with Loddon Close) and Kings End (up to where it meets with Queens Avenue)
  • Parking restrictions at the junction of Loddon Close and Middleton Stoney Road and improvement to existing paths
  • Upgrade of existing signalised crossings outside no.36 Kings End and along Manorsfield Road to toucan crossings with connecting unsegregated shared-use paths
  • 20mph speed limit along Kings End (east), Church Street, Causeway, Market Square, Manorsfield Road (south), Chapel Street, London Road (north), Launton Road (west), and adjoining side roads
  • A coordinated network of directional cycle signage with travel times
  • Quietways with on-road cycling and signage along Kings Avenue, Piggy Lane, Ray Road, Kings End (east), Church Street and Cemetery Road

  It is also proposed to provide a cycling link along the Causeway utilising Section 106 funding. Current proposals include a width and loading restriction to facilitate a contraflow cycle lane and provide a continuous cycle link in both directions. However, delivery has been deferred to enable further engagement on options with local stakeholders.

The consultation highlighted support for the proposed walking and cycling measures and raised additional places in Bicester where further improvements could be made. We have recorded these and will seek to further improve the walking and cycling infrastructure networks in Bicester in the coming years. Due to the adoption of an LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) in Bicester, and funding received from local developments, the county council expects to deliver a rolling programme of improvements in the coming years. This will include some of the deferred items, as well as an extension of the scheme westward along Middleton Stoney Road.

Programme of works

Works are underway and the progress of works is detailed in the table below:

Scheme section

Anticipated

Start date

Anticipated

Completion date

Status

Loddon Close

10/3/21

18/3/21

Complete

Middleton Stoney Road South

10/3/21

15/3/21

Complete

Middleton Stoney Road North

16/3/21

8/4/21

 

Middleton Stoney Road/Oxford Rd Rbt

29/3/21

27/4/21

 

Piggy Lane

11/3/21

9/4/21

Complete

Kings End

15/4/21

28/5/21

 

Additional signing and lining

TBC

TBC

 

For further queries please contact us at: ActiveTravelCherwellandWest@Oxfordshire.gov.uk

Witney Active Travel Route

Proposals in Witney are being funded through OxLEP allocation of £1.4m along with proposals in Bicester.

Following engagement with residents and organisations in January and February 2020, final scheme designs have been agreed and works began in April 2021 and are anticipated to be largely complete by end of June 2021

A full report of the results of the consultation, including elements that have been deferred can be found here (link to be provided)

Summary of works being undertaken

  • Upgrade the signalised crossing at Tower Hill to a toucan crossing to allow people cycling to cross the road.
  • Shared footway / cycleway at Tower Hill and Five Ways Roundabout
  • On-road advisory cycle lane along Corn Street and Langdale Gate
  • Removal of approximately three car parking spaces at 146-152 Corn Street, which is on the north side near the Water Margin restaurant. This will be performed under an experimental traffic regulation order to allow for a 6 month consultation period and further review. All other parking arrangements at Corn Street will remain as they are at present.  
  • Shared footway / cycleway at Witan Way roundabout
  • Minor improvements to Langel Common path and Church Lane
  • Upgrade the signalised crossing at Oxford Hill to a toucan crossing to allow people cycling to cross the road.
  • Minor improvements to the section of Madley Park path between Oxford Hill and Park View Court (not the whole route).
  • 20mph speed limit throughout the route including Corn Street, Church Lane, and Madley Park. 

Programme of works

Works are underway and progress of works is detailed in the table below:

Scheme section

Anticipated

Start date

Anticipated

Completion date

Status

Witan Way Roundabout

06/04/2021

30/04/2021

 

Oxford Hill

10/05/2021

07/06/2021

 

Tower Hill

19/04/2021

22/06/2021

 

Off-road cycle facility Witan Way to Church Lane and Oxford Hill to Courts Gardens

08/06/2021

14/06/2021

 

Off-road facility Courts Gardens to Park View Court

15/06/2021

28/06/2021

 

Corn Street (Holloway Road to Market Square)

12/05/2021

25/05/2021

 

Corn Street (Five Ways Roundabout to Holloway Rd)

08/06/2021

08/06/2021

 

Market Square

09/06/2021

09/06/2021

 

Langdale Gate

10/06/2021

10/06/2021

 

Woodbank

11/06/2021

11/06/2021

 

20mph zones

14/06/2021

14/06/2021

 

Cycle signs

15/06/2021

15/06/2021

 

For further queries please contact us at: ActiveTravelCherwellandWest@Oxfordshire.gov.uk

Cowley Low Traffic Neighbourhood

In December 2020, we sent out letters to over 4000 residents in the Cowley area inviting them to fill in an online survey asking their opinion of the LTN proposals. Over 1000 residents responded to the survey. Residents in all three areas expressed majority support for their local LTN proposal. In January 2021 implementation of the proposals were approved at Cabinet Member Decision. Copy of the report.

Details of closure locations are identified in the following plans

Implementation of the measures began in March 2021 and are programmed to be completed in the first week in April.

We are introducing the LTNs via a legal process called an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO). ETROs are used when it is very difficult to assess the impacts of the scheme beforehand, but the cost of implementation is relatively low.

In an ETRO, the Council introduces the scheme as an experiment first and there is then a six-month period after the scheme is introduced when the public can see for themselves the impact of the scheme and the Council can monitor its impacts. At the end of the six-month period, the Council assesses the impacts, including any letters of support or objections, and decides whether to confirm, cancel or extend the ETRO for up to 12 months longer to allow further consultation and monitoring.

It is also possible to make amendments to the scheme in the early stages if specific issues arise. We are currently considering initial comments to determine if any amendments to the scheme are required.

Why is the council doing this in the Cowley area?

Temple Cowley, Church Cowley and Florence Park have been chosen as a priority for two main reasons.

Firstly, the neighborhoods suffer because many drivers from outside the area take shortcuts along the residential streets. Many residents have complained to the council about the problems of short-cutting traffic including noise, danger and nuisance.

Secondly, there are strategic cycle routes running through the neighborhoods which serve both the local areas and areas further out. Traffic makes cycling and walking along these routes unattractive. The council aims to make these cycle routes safer and more convenient which will also support wider policies relating to active travel, reducing air pollution and tackling climate change. 

What will the council be monitoring?

The council is setting up a comprehensive monitoring programme to fully understand the impacts of the scheme. This includes monitoring the impacts of motorised traffic within the areas and traffic along the surrounding main roads, air pollution and noise levels, and cycling and walking levels on the main cycle routes. We are also be asking the opinions of residents, visitors and businesses as the LTN scheme continues.

Leave your comments

Further information on the ETRO consultation process and details on how to comment/object can be found on our consultation pages https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/Cowley_ExperimentalLowTraffic/consultationHome

** Objections to the proposals and other representations, specifying the grounds on which they are made, may be sent in by completing the online questionnaire, via email or in writing (quoting ref: AK/CM.12.6.320) to the address below by 17 September 2021. The council will consider objections and representations received in response and they may be disseminated widely for these purposes and made available to the public (the Forward Plan of decisions meetings can be viewed.

What do I need to do?

All residents’ homes remain accessible by car, van and lorry, but those driving may need to change their routes to get there.

  • It is important that if you live on or drive along any of the following roads that you plan your route ahead to be ready for the changes.
  • You can open the location plans to look at where the filters are. The detailed filter plans show the exact location and any new double yellow lines to be introduced.

Jericho and Walton Manor area pilot scheme

We are developing a new pilot traffic scheme for the Jericho and Walton Manor area.

The consultation is on a new pilot traffic scheme and does not seek views on the existing Walton Street traffic filter that was implemented on a trial basis in November 2019. A consultation on the existing Walton Street traffic filter took place between November 2019 and May 2020. The existing trial traffic filter on Walton Street is due to expire in May 2021. 

The new pilot traffic scheme is proposed as an alternative to the existing traffic filter on Walton Street.

Following the consultation on a new pilot traffic scheme we will decide whether to:

  • remove the existing traffic filter on Walton Street; or 
  • make the existing Walton Street traffic filter measure permanent; or
  • remove the existing Walton Street traffic filter and introduce the proposed pilot traffic scheme

While the existing Walton Street traffic filter has brought benefits, we recognise it has also generated some concerns among the local community. The alternative proposal we are currently consulting on intends to retain the benefits of the current filter, whilst addressing the concerns we have received. 

The pilot would be introduced by an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) which will last no longer than 18 months. 

To make it easier for people to walk and cycle in this area, the proposal will restrict movements by motor traffic at these junctions: 

  • No left turn for motor traffic from Little Clarendon Street into Walton Street
  • No right turn for motor traffic from Walton Street into Worcester Street
  • No right turn for motor traffic from Beaumont Street into Walton Street
  • No U turn for eastbound motor traffic on Beaumont Street

The consultation is now closed. Details can be accessed online.

Key dates

  • 5 March - Public consultation on new pilot traffic proposals opens 
  • 19 March - Public consultation on new pilot traffic proposals closes
  • 29 April - Council decision on existing Walton Street traffic filter ETRO and proposed new pilot
  • 17 May - Existing ETRO trial traffic filter on Walton Street ends (23:59)
  • 18 May - New ETRO pilot measures implemented if approved (00:01)
  • May - Nov 2021 - Formal consultation on how the pilot measures are working
  • Before Nov 2022 - Decision on whether to make pilot measures permanent

Oxford City Quickways

The Oxfordshire Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) contained a policy (Policy OC10) that sought to establish a “dual choice cycle network” for direct cycling (Quickways) and more advisory routes with reduced traffic contact known as Quietways. Policy OC11 further established the key components of the proposed Quickways as:

  • ease of cycle ‘flow’;
  • design speed of 20 mph (minimum 15 mph);
  • sharing with traffic; and
  • minimal diversion, delay or need to stop

In a nutshell, Quickways will be installed as “main roads” for the cycling community with high quality infrastructure designed to segregate cyclist wherever possible that will improve safety and reduce travel delay. This will be achieved along the Quickways routes by focussing on the following:

  • Advanced stop lines at junctions and crossings
  • segregated cycle lanes
  • where feasible wider cycle lanes
  • some centre line removal.
  • new cycle lanes (resulting in some parking loss)
  • median car parking
  • improved crossings and connectivity

Following confirmation of funding received in November 2020 a review of the proposals that were submitted to the DfT has been undertaken to assess whether the proposals still meet the requirements of the DfT.

At the time of the bid, there was a Government emphasis on speed of delivery and “significant changes” to the road network with measures “taken as swiftly as possible”. When the settlement was announced, the emphasis had changed to extensive consultation and monitoring. 

With this change in Government priority, three schemes (detailed below) have been identified that require a much greater underlying analysis on traffic impacts. Even with an extended programme for implementation to March 2022 (from March 2021) it has been determined that there is insufficient time or budget to undertake the appropriate assessments and consultation required to assess the impact on the network for the following schemes:

  • The right turn prohibition into Donnington Bridge Road from Abingdon Road at the signal junction with Weirs Lane;
  • The bus filter on Warneford Lane to encourage cycling and bus use; and
  • The bus filter on Cowley Road (near Tescos) proposed to promote business such as al fresco dining and encourage cycling and bus use.

Instead these proposals will be developed and consulted on through the wider Connecting Oxford programme.

Options are now being developed on the following Quickway schemes:

  • Cowley Road/Oxford Road
  • Iffley Road/Rose Hill
  • St Clements Street/ Between Towns Road
  • Church Cowley Road
  • Donnington Bridge Road
  • Morrell Avenue
  • Marston Road
  • Parks Road
  • Banbury Road
  • St Giles

Timescales:

Task Anticipated Dates Status
Members Briefings March 2021 Complete March 2021
Option development March 2021 – June 2021  
Stakeholder Engagement June/July 2021  
Statutory TRO consultation / public engagement August 2021  
Cabinet Member Decision 14th October 2021  
Implementation November 2021-
March 2022
 

Details on the proposals will be added to the website as option development progresses.

East Oxford Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme

A proposed LTN will shortly be subject to public consultation in summer 2021. The scheme will involve the installation of filters in the Divinity Road area, St Clements area, and St Marys area to restrict traffic movement in residential streets, making walking and cycling more appealing.

The scheme will be delivered under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. Subject to results of the public consultation, the scheme is expected to be delivered by March 2022.”

Timescales:

Task Anticipated Dates Status
Members Briefings March 2021 Complete March 2021
Option development March 2021 – May 2021  
Stakeholder Engagement May 2021  
Public Engagement June 2021  
Pre-statutory ETRO July 2021  
Cabinet Member Decision 29 July 2021  
Implementation August/September 2021  
ETRO consultation September 2021 – March 2022  

Details on the proposals will be added to the website as option development progresses.

Headington & Quarry Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme

A proposed LTN will shortly be subject to public consultation in summer 2021. The scheme will involve the installation of filters in the New Headington area, Old Headington area, and Quarry area to restrict traffic movement in residential streets, making walking and cycling more appealing.

The scheme will be delivered under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. Subject to results of the public consultation, the scheme is expected to be delivered by March 2022.”

Timescales:

Task Anticipated Dates Status

Members Briefings

March 2021 Complete March 2021
Option development March 2021 – May 2021  
Stakeholder Engagement May 2021  
Public Engagement June 2021  
Pre-statutory ETRO July 2021  
Cabinet Member Decision 29 July/2 Sept 2021  
Implementation September/October 2021  
ETRO consultation October 2021 – April 2022  

Details on the proposals will be added to the website as option development progresses.