This project consists of improvements to transport connections and enhancements to the road network to promote sustainable access between Oxford station and key development sites, creating more space for the projected increase in people visiting and working in the city centre.
The project is helping to accommodate the increased pedestrian, cycle and public transport movements between the station and city centre, as a result of major development sites such as Westgate, Oxpens and Osney Mead.
The initial elements of the project, became operational on Monday 23 October 2017 including;
- Reduced number of buses passing through Queen Street (approx. 29 per hour rather than 55 prior to the changes). Bus stops are no longer located on Queen Street.
- The existing cycle access arrangements in Queen Street remains (i.e. cycling is permitted between 6pm - 10am
- New / revised bus routes and bus stop allocations around the city centre to facilitate buses serving the Westgate and surrounding areas, e.g. an additional outbound stop west of Turl Street,
- New ‘no loading, waiting and stopping’ restrictions (new clearway between the hours of 12pm and 8pm on High Street and St Aldates
In addition, the following measures specific to the Westgate redevelopment also came into operation;
- New bus stops on Castle Street, Norfolk Street and Speedwell Street,
- New no loading / no waiting restrictions on Castle Street Norfolk Street, Paradise Street, Abbey Place, Old Greyfriars Street, Speedwell Street (part) and Thames Street (part),
- New access restrictions with exemptions for local buses and cyclists on Norfolk Street, Abbey Place and Speedwell Street (part) and
- New access restrictions with exemptions for local buses, cyclists, taxis and private hire plus vehicles for loading on Old Greyfriars Street.
- Diagram of Westgate area (pdf format, 532Kb)
Works to remove the traffic signals at the junction of Speedwell Street and St Aldates and creating a priority junction c/w new zebra crossings was completed in April 2018.
Improvements to the George Street/Hythe Bridge Street/Worcester Street junction are still proposed. The design is still under consideration and will be developed further in consultation with key user groups including checking proposals for compatibility with measures proposed for the Botley Road Corridor project and the recommendations in the Phil Jones Associates city centre movement study. The proposals for this junction will further improve transport and pedestrian links and include;
- Removal of traffic signals at the junction of New Road / Worcester Street / Park End Street and creating a priority junction c/w new zebra crossings,
- Adjustments to the traffic signals at the junction of Worcester Street / George Street / Hythe Bridge Street including improvements to safety for cyclists and prohibition of some vehicular movements (tbc)
The key benefits of the scheme are
- Improved links for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users to Oxford city centre and the rail station.
- Improved capacity for buses and passengers (inc. Westgate related growth); reduced delays to buses; improved air quality.