• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

New requirements for transport planning to ‘reduce car dependence’ in Oxfordshire

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 21, 2022

NEW transport plans for Oxfordshire include cutting the number of car journeys in the county by more than half in the next 20 years, said the county council.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, said that its ambition is “to create a net zero transport system by 2040, improving health and wellbeing, tackling the climate emergency, reducing private vehicle use and prioritising walking, cycling and the use of public transport.”

Yesterday (September 20) the council’s cabinet approved new requirements for transport planning based on the principle of “decide and provide.”

This means, for example, that where developers believe that schemes will lead to an increase in cars, they must first consider travel arrangements before identifying changes to infrastructure to deal with additional traffic.

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Councillor Duncan Enright, cabinet member for travel and development strategy, said: “Replacing the ‘predict and provide’ model means we will stop using past traffic trends to determine the future need for infrastructure, as this maintains the status quo by perpetuating dependence on cars.

“This document signals a change in attitude to the issue of travel in the county. It shows where our priorities lie and will help support the aims of the local transport and connectivity plan.

“This is believed to be one of the first, if not the first, instance of a local highway authority expressly requiring new developments to do this, putting the council at the forefront of advancing transport planning practice.”

Last month, the council unveiled plans for six new traffic filters to be introduced in Oxford as part of a plan to reduce pollution and promote public transport, despite concerns about their effects on the city’s economy.