Northern Gateway plans premature


5th March 2014

Where has all the data gone?  CPRE believes key transport information is needed before Oxford City Council can run a proper consultation on options for the Northern Gateway Area Action Plan.

Proposals for Oxford’s Northern Gateway are currently out for consultation, but CPRE Oxford is concerned that critical information on the transport impacts of the development is still not available.

UPDATE 28 March:  CPRE Oxfordshire has now put in its formal response to the consultation.   You can read it at the bottom of this page.

The site is adjacent to current traffic hotspots including the A40 and A44 at the Pear Tree and Wolvercote roundabouts. The development is inevitably going to add vehicles onto this already overloaded network, so it is vital that the impacts are properly considered.

However, the City Council has confirmed that only a draft transport report will be available for consideration as part of this consultation. This is a baseline report, prepared by an agency on behalf of the landowners, which looks at the existing situation, rather than addressing the specific impacts of any development proposals.

As part of the Northern Gateway proposals, the City Council is advocating a link road, across Green Belt land, between the A40 and the A44. However, there is no analysis of commuter patterns and to what extent this road might relieve the impacts of the development. CPRE understands the City Council is still working on 2011 census data to provide this information.

In addition, the data relating to Peartree Park & Ride is from 2007, and there is no assessment at all of the use of Water Eaton Park & Ride, or what the impact will be of the new Water Eaton Parkway station.

Sietske Boeles, Chairman, CPRE Oxford said: “We believe the consultation should be put on hold until we have accurate and up to date transport information. We are being asked to comment on Options, not the final proposals, but decisions taken now will still influence the overall development and should be founded on thorough and accurate data.

“Sorting out the transport issues is absolutely vital. Commuters through this area already suffer enormous delays and could face even longer journey times as a result of this development. Increased congestion would also lead to increased air pollution, threatening the health of both local people and nearby green spaces such as Goose Green and Port Meadow.”

Nitrogen dioxide pollution is already a problem for Oxford City, where levels consistently breach targets, and Wolvercote roundabout is identified as one of the areas of most concern.

CPRE believes that:

a) A convincing transport case has not yet been made for the proposed incursion into the green belt on the west side of A34.

b) There is insufficient evidence that the development can be achieved without increasing congestion, delay and /or accidents on A40 and A34 Peartree interchange, and adversely affecting traffic needing to use these strategic routes passing Oxford.

c) The proposal for a connecting link from A40 to A44 at the small Loop Farm roundabout north of the congested A34 interchange would be likely to increase traffic on the former A43 through Kidlington/ Sainsbury’s roundabout and Gosford.


Read the Options Document and other background papers here.

See CPRE Oxfordshire’s response to the consultation below.