Oxfordshire Cycle Network, networks cyclist-focussed groups to make sure that Council Planning ticks all the boxes

Oxfordshire Cycle Network, networks cyclist-focussed groups to make sure that Council Planning ticks all the boxes

Oxfordshire Cycle Network creates a network of support, with the help of CTC, so as to assist Oxfordshire County Council in producing their current strategy plan, which is focused on ensuring that the County’s transport system is set up right.

David Early, of Oxfordshire County Council, is currently involved in creating a Cycling Strategy for the County, as part of their Local Transport Plan (LTP) - LTP4, which is being produced to update the previous 2011 release. The Oxfordshire Cycling Network (OCN), CTC and other members, have been invited to participate in this, not just in the cycling strategy, but in other parts of the LTP, which link to cycling, and concern health, historic sights, air quality etc.

The aim of the plan is to make sure that the ‘county’s transport systems are fit to support population and economic growth’.

According to the Oxfordshire Council's website, as part of proceedings, they will be taking a fresh look at their transport vision, goals and objectives, to ensure that they support the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan as well as District Council Local Plans and other council strategies. They will consider a range of solutions to meet their objectives, and use these to develop their strategies, alongside the schemes they are already committed to.

Public consultation in regards to the plan will take place in two-stages - the first one, (that is due to be held in mid-2014), will focus on producing a draft plan, and the secondary phase, (which will occur in early 2015), will aim to appraise this.

Alongside the process, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will be produced, and a scoping report for this has been published for statutory consultation. This appraising of it ends on 16th May.

I spoke to Robin Tucker, who is the co-ordinator of the cycling network of Oxfordshire, who are an affiliate of CTC, to ask what where the main points that he would be putting across to the Council. According to Tucker, the Network was only started very recently, but the timing couldn’t have been better, given the council’s announcements. Many of the points that he mentioned are embedded in CTC's aims.

The touring Club's Chris Peck will be taking up Robin Tucker’s invitation to a meeting entitled - ‘Connecting Oxfordshire - a transport vision for the future’, and he will make a presentation there regarding the CTC ‘Space for Cycling Campaign’. This campaign is concerned with trying to reallocate space on U.K. roads away from general traffic and towards cyclist-friendly projects.

Peck will also be looking to reflect on all of the club's current campaigning at the hook-up, which as pointed out to me by David Early, (who is also at CTC), focuses on six core themes:

  • commitment to cycling
  • designed for cycling
  • off-road access
  • promotion and encouragement
  • safe drivers and vehicles
  • public transport

Read more about this list

One current CTC project of that Chris Peck would likely also be mentioning, is ‘Cycletopia’ , which is a recipe list drawn up by CTC, specifying how to make a Town cycle-friendly. Many of the ingredients of it were reccommended to be brought forth, by an April 2013 report by the All Party Parlimentary Cycle Group's (APPCG), entitled - 'Get Britain Cycling', which broadly aimed to improve conditions for cyclists in the U.K., to bring them up to the spec of other European cycle-successes, such as Denmark.

Adding to the mix of the project, is the call for railway stations to offer desirable cycle parking, and bikes for hire. Guildford, Surrey, where CTC’s National Office is based, is already on the way to a great dish, given that it features a ’Brompton Dock’ – a pound that holds hireable/train peak-time-friendly-cycles.

 

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