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CPRE responds to consultation on new Transport Plan for Oxfordshire

Wednesday, 01 April 2015 11:15

Oxfordshire County Council is consulting, until Friday 2 April, on its draft new Local Transport Plan.  It is not too late to have your say!

CPRE is primarily concerned to ensure that transport in the county enables people living and working in the countryside, villages and country towns to enjoy an environment protected from intrusive inter-urban traffic and be able to use all modes of travel on public roads themselves. This very rural county is about to accommodate unprecedented population influx and demand for travel on inadequate infrastructure.

In general, CPRE Oxfordshire is supportive of the goals and objectives as outlined on p.7 of the Plan. However, we find it hard to reconcile the praiseworthy Goal 3 (‘To protect and where possible enhance Oxfordshire's environment and improve quality of life’) with all the actions proposed in the Plan. At best we are talking about attempted mitigation of an all-out assault on the natural environment. At worst this is pure 'greenwash'. Local examples just from the Bicester area,include driving new roads through open countryside and even a Conservation Target Area.

See our consultation response below.

Here is a summary of the issues raised in our response to the consultation: 

  • The growth figures on which LTP4 is based are unsound and unsustainable, and have not been subject to public consultation.
  • Lack of focus on existing rural transport needs.
  • The Park & Ride strategy will undermine both the Green Belt and the sustainability of the broader region in favour of continued expansion of Oxford.
  • Taken together, the proposals represent a concerted attack on the Oxford Green Belt.
  • There is a lack of information relating to key areas including: A40, Rights of Way and Green Infrastructure Plan
  • There is a lack of Plan B for highly ambitious projects such as the transit tunnels.
  • This strategy should have complied with the Duty to Co-operate, but there is no evidence that this has been complied with.
  • The commitment to ongoing road maintenance should be clarified.
  • The proposal to expand London Oxford (Kidlington) Airport is unacceptable and in conflict with the County’s own Strategic Environmental Assessment.
  • The Knowledge Spine – the LTP4 does not take into consideration the Government’s stated policy of an Oxford-Cambridge expressway.
  • The Plan is heavily dependent on improvement of the A34, although significant proposals are not yet in place.
  • The changes to certain Road Classifications are questionable.
  • The Rail strategy requires better integration with other modes of transport and consideration of new stations at sites such as Kidlington.
  • Waterways, Footpaths and Cycleways – improvement to Wilts & Berks Canal, support for AONBs, and national trails.
  • Air Quality.
  • We welcome the discussion of the impacts of Noise and Light Pollution within the Strategic Environmental Assessment and would like to understand what policies and mitigation measures will be put in place as a result.
  • Volume 2 Area Strategies.
  • The A420 Strategy is very welcome but needs further detail to be convincing.
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
  • There is a lack of independent scrutiny.

See the Oxfordshire County Council website for details of how to respond.

 

CPRE Oxfordshire, 1 April 


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