Call for tram-trains link to cut jams on A40 in West Oxfordshire

BUSINESS leaders have called on Oxfordshire’s transport authority to examine whether a light railway could be the solution to the A40’s “endemic” traffic problems in West Oxfordshire.

Railfuture Thames Valley and other groups are calling on Oxfordshire County Council to carry out an urgent feasibility study into a proposal to reopen the former Witney to Oxford railway line so it could be used by tram-trains.

Lesley Semaine, the chairman of Witney Chamber of Commerce, backed calls for a feasibility study.

She said: “Any better connection to Oxford would be very beneficial.”

Witney held a public holiday when the railway arrived in 1861. But the Beeching cuts saw the last regular passenger train steam out of Witney in 1962. Goods trains stopped in 1970.

The line once served Carterton, Brize Norton, South Leigh and Eynsham. Since the 1960s, traffic along the A40 has worsened for commuters.

Plans to build 5,500 homes in West Oxfordshire by 2029 and Oxford City Council’s 900-home Barton West scheme have heightened concerns.

Railfuture spokesman Hugh Jaeger said: “The problems along the A40 are endemic and we believe Oxford to Witney is such a priority.”

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Ian Hudspeth, the leader of the county council, has said improving the A40 could lead to more traffic. He said: “Before we did a study we would have to be reasonably confident that we would get money for it.”

Comments (27)

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10:02am Fri 28 Jun 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

It's an absolute priority!

Just take a look at Scotland.

Alloa with a population of around 20,000 (around 10% fewer than Witney) was reconnected to the rail network around 5 years ago. 400,000 passengers use the station every year now.

Galashiels with a population of around 13,000 (around 40% fewer than Witney) is in the process of being reconnected as part of the Waverley route.

If these two routes can be opened in Scotland, then surely there is a business case for connecting Witney (and others on or near the former route) to Oxford.

The biggest obstacle that I can see is that the parking revenue in Oxford will fall off a cliff if people can board a modern, smooth, air conditioned service in Witney that will get them to Oxford in 12-15 minutes.


(An anxious hand-wringer is bound to point out that some of the former track-bed is built on so a new rail route will be "impossible" - yet HS2 and regular road-building clearly evidences that it's possible to build a new transport facility on an alignment that didn't previously have one.)
It's an absolute priority! Just take a look at Scotland. Alloa with a population of around 20,000 (around 10% fewer than Witney) was reconnected to the rail network around 5 years ago. 400,000 passengers use the station every year now. Galashiels with a population of around 13,000 (around 40% fewer than Witney) is in the process of being reconnected as part of the Waverley route. If these two routes can be opened in Scotland, then surely there is a business case for connecting Witney (and others on or near the former route) to Oxford. The biggest obstacle that I can see is that the parking revenue in Oxford will fall off a cliff if people can board a modern, smooth, air conditioned service in Witney that will get them to Oxford in 12-15 minutes. (An anxious hand-wringer is bound to point out that some of the former track-bed is built on so a new rail route will be "impossible" - yet HS2 and regular road-building clearly evidences that it's possible to build a new transport facility on an alignment that didn't previously have one.) Andrew:Oxford

10:14am Fri 28 Jun 13

Patrick in Devon says...

This is surely a complete no-brainer. A light railway, or tramway, would not need to follow the old rail route. It could run alongside the A40, and then alongside the railway into Oxford.

The problem would be the station and the city centre - heavily congested and constrained. The answer would be a tunnel from the station to South Park, with stations near Carfax and at the Plain, then continue the line to Brooks, the JRH, Barton and Thornhill. Once established, extensions would follow.

There are many similar sized cities in Europe which had similar problems and have done something - including the tunnels - and are now reaping the benefits economically, environmentally and socially.
This is surely a complete no-brainer. A light railway, or tramway, would not need to follow the old rail route. It could run alongside the A40, and then alongside the railway into Oxford. The problem would be the station and the city centre - heavily congested and constrained. The answer would be a tunnel from the station to South Park, with stations near Carfax and at the Plain, then continue the line to Brooks, the JRH, Barton and Thornhill. Once established, extensions would follow. There are many similar sized cities in Europe which had similar problems and have done something - including the tunnels - and are now reaping the benefits economically, environmentally and socially. Patrick in Devon

11:13am Fri 28 Jun 13

Danny A says...

Take it right across to Wheatley via the Oxford rail station, Littlemore and Leys on the old rail line. This would transform all of these Oxford serving communities.
Take it right across to Wheatley via the Oxford rail station, Littlemore and Leys on the old rail line. This would transform all of these Oxford serving communities. Danny A

11:23am Fri 28 Jun 13

bart-on simpson says...

What's this to do with West Barton?
What's this to do with West Barton? bart-on simpson

11:59am Fri 28 Jun 13

West Oxon Webwatcher says...

Peak hour commuting from Witney to Oxford often takes an hour or more. There will however be a part solution to this from next week when a new 191 space car park at Hanborough Station opens. The travel time to Oxford by train is around 10 minutes. Car travel from Witney to Hanborough is around 15 minutes. Allow 5 minutes or so for interchange bewteen car and train. Lo and behold, the time for your Witney to Oxford journey halves from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. It is a no brainer but I wonder how many Witney people (and from other West Oxon communities will consider this option to save an hour commuting time each working day. The rail costs will not be much diferent from the bus service, although the bus is more frequent and certainly less than using the car and paying for parking in Oxford.
Peak hour commuting from Witney to Oxford often takes an hour or more. There will however be a part solution to this from next week when a new 191 space car park at Hanborough Station opens. The travel time to Oxford by train is around 10 minutes. Car travel from Witney to Hanborough is around 15 minutes. Allow 5 minutes or so for interchange bewteen car and train. Lo and behold, the time for your Witney to Oxford journey halves from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. It is a no brainer but I wonder how many Witney people (and from other West Oxon communities will consider this option to save an hour commuting time each working day. The rail costs will not be much diferent from the bus service, although the bus is more frequent and certainly less than using the car and paying for parking in Oxford. West Oxon Webwatcher

12:11pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Patrick in Devon says...

Danny A wrote:
Take it right across to Wheatley via the Oxford rail station, Littlemore and Leys on the old rail line. This would transform all of these Oxford serving communities.
Are Chiltern missing a trick by terminating their new service from Marylebone at Oxford station? Without too much extra cost it could be extended to Cowley - thus providing a direct fast Bicester - north Oxford - Science Park - Cowley service along the existing line.
[quote][p][bold]Danny A[/bold] wrote: Take it right across to Wheatley via the Oxford rail station, Littlemore and Leys on the old rail line. This would transform all of these Oxford serving communities.[/p][/quote]Are Chiltern missing a trick by terminating their new service from Marylebone at Oxford station? Without too much extra cost it could be extended to Cowley - thus providing a direct fast Bicester - north Oxford - Science Park - Cowley service along the existing line. Patrick in Devon

12:20pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Patrick in Devon wrote:
Danny A wrote:
Take it right across to Wheatley via the Oxford rail station, Littlemore and Leys on the old rail line. This would transform all of these Oxford serving communities.
Are Chiltern missing a trick by terminating their new service from Marylebone at Oxford station? Without too much extra cost it could be extended to Cowley - thus providing a direct fast Bicester - north Oxford - Science Park - Cowley service along the existing line.
Very much so.

The traffic chaos at BMW/Business Park/Science Park in the evening would strongly suggest that even a "peak only" (to include BMW shift patterns) extension of a service to a new platform at Garsington Road & the Science Park would be strongly welcomed.
[quote][p][bold]Patrick in Devon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Danny A[/bold] wrote: Take it right across to Wheatley via the Oxford rail station, Littlemore and Leys on the old rail line. This would transform all of these Oxford serving communities.[/p][/quote]Are Chiltern missing a trick by terminating their new service from Marylebone at Oxford station? Without too much extra cost it could be extended to Cowley - thus providing a direct fast Bicester - north Oxford - Science Park - Cowley service along the existing line.[/p][/quote]Very much so. The traffic chaos at BMW/Business Park/Science Park in the evening would strongly suggest that even a "peak only" (to include BMW shift patterns) extension of a service to a new platform at Garsington Road & the Science Park would be strongly welcomed. Andrew:Oxford

2:36pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Myron Blatz says...

But what about the bats and other animals who now infest these old railtracks - and would they be safe for children and yobbos to throw stones from? The other issue, is that at peak times of travel, there would be a finite number of tram/light railway units to be allowed to use the dedicated trackways - and utilising current roads would create hell for other traffic using these roads - which were not designed to incorporate dedicated tramways. This would also involve a massive and costly infrastructure building programme, with farmland and maybe even homes close to the roads having to be purchased - and even if most of the tramways were single-track, they would have to build passing places, especially for use at peak times, when trams would be going in both directions. SAs for utilising old or under-used railways track, in many cases this wouldn't be feasible, since building have been built on many locations, and old bridges long-demolished. However, mabybe 'bendy buses' might offer a more viable solution to trams - but using the current bus lanes, not purpose-built 'buided tramway' concrete sections, useless to other traffic.It must also be remembers that the current enviro double-decker buses operated by Stagecoach and Oxford bus can carry up to 90 passengers each - which outside peak hour operation, run empty.
But what about the bats and other animals who now infest these old railtracks - and would they be safe for children and yobbos to throw stones from? The other issue, is that at peak times of travel, there would be a finite number of tram/light railway units to be allowed to use the dedicated trackways - and utilising current roads would create hell for other traffic using these roads - which were not designed to incorporate dedicated tramways. This would also involve a massive and costly infrastructure building programme, with farmland and maybe even homes close to the roads having to be purchased - and even if most of the tramways were single-track, they would have to build passing places, especially for use at peak times, when trams would be going in both directions. SAs for utilising old or under-used railways track, in many cases this wouldn't be feasible, since building have been built on many locations, and old bridges long-demolished. However, mabybe 'bendy buses' might offer a more viable solution to trams - but using the current bus lanes, not purpose-built 'buided tramway' concrete sections, useless to other traffic.It must also be remembers that the current enviro double-decker buses operated by Stagecoach and Oxford bus can carry up to 90 passengers each - which outside peak hour operation, run empty. Myron Blatz

2:50pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
But what about the bats and other animals who now infest these old railtracks - and would they be safe for children and yobbos to throw stones from? The other issue, is that at peak times of travel, there would be a finite number of tram/light railway units to be allowed to use the dedicated trackways - and utilising current roads would create hell for other traffic using these roads - which were not designed to incorporate dedicated tramways. This would also involve a massive and costly infrastructure building programme, with farmland and maybe even homes close to the roads having to be purchased - and even if most of the tramways were single-track, they would have to build passing places, especially for use at peak times, when trams would be going in both directions. SAs for utilising old or under-used railways track, in many cases this wouldn't be feasible, since building have been built on many locations, and old bridges long-demolished. However, mabybe 'bendy buses' might offer a more viable solution to trams - but using the current bus lanes, not purpose-built 'buided tramway' concrete sections, useless to other traffic.It must also be remembers that the current enviro double-decker buses operated by Stagecoach and Oxford bus can carry up to 90 passengers each - which outside peak hour operation, run empty.
With permanent way operation they are usually referred to as "Passing Loops"

A 2 car tram would allow for 80 seated passengers and around 250 standing passengers - depending on design layout. That would mean a single tram running on a dedicated line would carry the same number of people as 4 of the buses I know you love so much.

Indeed a 4 car tram running every 12 minutes at peak times between 4pm and 6pm from "Garsington Road" would be able to convey 6600 people away from the Business Park/BMW/Science Park areas... That's the same as 82 buses - or 6600 single occupancy cars...

Don't concern yourself with infrastructure elements, as I mentioned on the first posting - it is possible to build a new railway on a formation that diverts or is completely different from a former formation.

Just imagine what it would do to the traffic.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: But what about the bats and other animals who now infest these old railtracks - and would they be safe for children and yobbos to throw stones from? The other issue, is that at peak times of travel, there would be a finite number of tram/light railway units to be allowed to use the dedicated trackways - and utilising current roads would create hell for other traffic using these roads - which were not designed to incorporate dedicated tramways. This would also involve a massive and costly infrastructure building programme, with farmland and maybe even homes close to the roads having to be purchased - and even if most of the tramways were single-track, they would have to build passing places, especially for use at peak times, when trams would be going in both directions. SAs for utilising old or under-used railways track, in many cases this wouldn't be feasible, since building have been built on many locations, and old bridges long-demolished. However, mabybe 'bendy buses' might offer a more viable solution to trams - but using the current bus lanes, not purpose-built 'buided tramway' concrete sections, useless to other traffic.It must also be remembers that the current enviro double-decker buses operated by Stagecoach and Oxford bus can carry up to 90 passengers each - which outside peak hour operation, run empty.[/p][/quote]With permanent way operation they are usually referred to as "Passing Loops" A 2 car tram would allow for 80 seated passengers and around 250 standing passengers - depending on design layout. That would mean a single tram running on a dedicated line would carry the same number of people as 4 of the buses I know you love so much. Indeed a 4 car tram running every 12 minutes at peak times between 4pm and 6pm from "Garsington Road" would be able to convey 6600 people away from the Business Park/BMW/Science Park areas... That's the same as 82 buses - or 6600 single occupancy cars... Don't concern yourself with infrastructure elements, as I mentioned on the first posting - it is possible to build a new railway on a formation that diverts or is completely different from a former formation. Just imagine what it would do to the traffic. Andrew:Oxford

3:04pm Fri 28 Jun 13

icba1957 says...

For once, most of the comments have been very sensible!
But everyone is avoiding the main issue, which Ian Hudspeth touched on; who would pay for it?
For once, most of the comments have been very sensible! But everyone is avoiding the main issue, which Ian Hudspeth touched on; who would pay for it? icba1957

3:28pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

icba1957 wrote:
For once, most of the comments have been very sensible!
But everyone is avoiding the main issue, which Ian Hudspeth touched on; who would pay for it?
A tax on franchise/licensing payments.

Say, for example, you are an international coffee company or internet retailer who charges a franchise/licensing fee to international outlets of its' own brand. This is currently a valid business charge that reduces taxable profits...

If the franchise/licence payment was taxed at the same rate as corporation tax (or higher) then the additional income could be used to build infrastructure projects...
[quote][p][bold]icba1957[/bold] wrote: For once, most of the comments have been very sensible! But everyone is avoiding the main issue, which Ian Hudspeth touched on; who would pay for it?[/p][/quote]A tax on franchise/licensing payments. Say, for example, you are an international coffee company or internet retailer who charges a franchise/licensing fee to international outlets of its' own brand. This is currently a valid business charge that reduces taxable profits... If the franchise/licence payment was taxed at the same rate as corporation tax (or higher) then the additional income could be used to build infrastructure projects... Andrew:Oxford

4:59pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Patrick in Devon says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
icba1957 wrote:
For once, most of the comments have been very sensible!
But everyone is avoiding the main issue, which Ian Hudspeth touched on; who would pay for it?
A tax on franchise/licensing payments.

Say, for example, you are an international coffee company or internet retailer who charges a franchise/licensing fee to international outlets of its' own brand. This is currently a valid business charge that reduces taxable profits...

If the franchise/licence payment was taxed at the same rate as corporation tax (or higher) then the additional income could be used to build infrastructure projects...
The budget for HS2 has now risen to £42bn. We dont need it. What we do need is more rail capacity across the country to tackle local and regional transport problems - and alot more spent on urban transport. People use local transport nearly every day. Long distance transport is less important.

Trams are alot cheaper to run, faster, smoother and cleaner than buses - which is why most of the world is investing heavily in them.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]icba1957[/bold] wrote: For once, most of the comments have been very sensible! But everyone is avoiding the main issue, which Ian Hudspeth touched on; who would pay for it?[/p][/quote]A tax on franchise/licensing payments. Say, for example, you are an international coffee company or internet retailer who charges a franchise/licensing fee to international outlets of its' own brand. This is currently a valid business charge that reduces taxable profits... If the franchise/licence payment was taxed at the same rate as corporation tax (or higher) then the additional income could be used to build infrastructure projects...[/p][/quote]The budget for HS2 has now risen to £42bn. We dont need it. What we do need is more rail capacity across the country to tackle local and regional transport problems - and alot more spent on urban transport. People use local transport nearly every day. Long distance transport is less important. Trams are alot cheaper to run, faster, smoother and cleaner than buses - which is why most of the world is investing heavily in them. Patrick in Devon

9:41pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Citizen Sunday says...

To facilitate the passenger numbers that would be required to substantially reduce traffic from the A40 would require a proper railway 'train' service- not trams.
Just reinstate the original Oxford-Witney line.
To facilitate the passenger numbers that would be required to substantially reduce traffic from the A40 would require a proper railway 'train' service- not trams. Just reinstate the original Oxford-Witney line. Citizen Sunday

3:43am Sat 29 Jun 13

The Headington Harridan says...

Patrick in Devon wrote:
This is surely a complete no-brainer. A light railway, or tramway, would not need to follow the old rail route. It could run alongside the A40, and then alongside the railway into Oxford. The problem would be the station and the city centre - heavily congested and constrained. The answer would be a tunnel from the station to South Park, with stations near Carfax and at the Plain, then continue the line to Brooks, the JRH, Barton and Thornhill. Once established, extensions would follow. There are many similar sized cities in Europe which had similar problems and have done something - including the tunnels - and are now reaping the benefits economically, environmentally and socially.
A tunnel from the station to South Park??? The money was not available to build a 200 yard tunnel under Green Road or a 150 yard one under Heyford Hill roundabouts, let alone a mile and a half one under the most historical buildings in oxford. For the fraction of the cost of a white elephant tramway. New interchanges connecting the A40 to the 44 and 34, and a short tunnel underneath Sunderland Ave enabling A40 through traffic to bypass Wolvecote and Cutteslowe roundabouts would solve the problem for a fraction of the cost, and in the other direction removing the lights by the Eynsham turn would help massively with outbound traffic in the evening (although another tunnel would solve the problem). Green road was a complete waste of money, because without a tunnel for through traffic it will always be a bottleneck, just thank god that the M40 extension was built before the professional objectors started up, otherwise we would now have queues half way back to London in one direction and Banbury in the other.
[quote][p][bold]Patrick in Devon[/bold] wrote: This is surely a complete no-brainer. A light railway, or tramway, would not need to follow the old rail route. It could run alongside the A40, and then alongside the railway into Oxford. The problem would be the station and the city centre - heavily congested and constrained. The answer would be a tunnel from the station to South Park, with stations near Carfax and at the Plain, then continue the line to Brooks, the JRH, Barton and Thornhill. Once established, extensions would follow. There are many similar sized cities in Europe which had similar problems and have done something - including the tunnels - and are now reaping the benefits economically, environmentally and socially.[/p][/quote]A tunnel from the station to South Park??? The money was not available to build a 200 yard tunnel under Green Road or a 150 yard one under Heyford Hill roundabouts, let alone a mile and a half one under the most historical buildings in oxford. For the fraction of the cost of a white elephant tramway. New interchanges connecting the A40 to the 44 and 34, and a short tunnel underneath Sunderland Ave enabling A40 through traffic to bypass Wolvecote and Cutteslowe roundabouts would solve the problem for a fraction of the cost, and in the other direction removing the lights by the Eynsham turn would help massively with outbound traffic in the evening (although another tunnel would solve the problem). Green road was a complete waste of money, because without a tunnel for through traffic it will always be a bottleneck, just thank god that the M40 extension was built before the professional objectors started up, otherwise we would now have queues half way back to London in one direction and Banbury in the other. The Headington Harridan

5:35am Sat 29 Jun 13

Myron Blatz says...

Harridan and citizen Sunday are closer to objective reality than Andrew - who often seems to dwell in the subjective nether world of totally unreal! As for trams being able to seat 80 and have standing room for 250 people .... does that include the elderly, disabled, those in wheelchairs and - all those young parents with oversized baby-buggies? Trams are expensive to run and maintain, and are totally inflexible in operation fixed to their rails - they cannot be diverted or sent anywhere which doesn't have that expensive rail infrastructure. Where tramways have been introduced in the UK, it has required massive funding - not simply to implement, but on-going. nor are trams or light railways the solution for rural Oxfordshire, where it would be impractical and financial suicide of a local authority or private operator to replace bus and mini-bus services with either light rail or trams. Mind you, for those who still support the 'Flat Earth Society' and believe the Moon actually is made of 'green cheese' then I suppose anything is possible!
Harridan and citizen Sunday are closer to objective reality than Andrew - who often seems to dwell in the subjective nether world of totally unreal! As for trams being able to seat 80 and have standing room for 250 people .... does that include the elderly, disabled, those in wheelchairs and - all those young parents with oversized baby-buggies? Trams are expensive to run and maintain, and are totally inflexible in operation fixed to their rails - they cannot be diverted or sent anywhere which doesn't have that expensive rail infrastructure. Where tramways have been introduced in the UK, it has required massive funding - not simply to implement, but on-going. nor are trams or light railways the solution for rural Oxfordshire, where it would be impractical and financial suicide of a local authority or private operator to replace bus and mini-bus services with either light rail or trams. Mind you, for those who still support the 'Flat Earth Society' and believe the Moon actually is made of 'green cheese' then I suppose anything is possible! Myron Blatz

7:36am Sat 29 Jun 13

Patrick in Devon says...

Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater.
Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater. Patrick in Devon

10:05am Sat 29 Jun 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Harridan and citizen Sunday are closer to objective reality than Andrew - who often seems to dwell in the subjective nether world of totally unreal! As for trams being able to seat 80 and have standing room for 250 people .... does that include the elderly, disabled, those in wheelchairs and - all those young parents with oversized baby-buggies? Trams are expensive to run and maintain, and are totally inflexible in operation fixed to their rails - they cannot be diverted or sent anywhere which doesn't have that expensive rail infrastructure. Where tramways have been introduced in the UK, it has required massive funding - not simply to implement, but on-going. nor are trams or light railways the solution for rural Oxfordshire, where it would be impractical and financial suicide of a local authority or private operator to replace bus and mini-bus services with either light rail or trams. Mind you, for those who still support the 'Flat Earth Society' and believe the Moon actually is made of 'green cheese' then I suppose anything is possible!
Best to check the specification of the trams around Europe before querying the capacity.

As long as an elderly person wasn't obese and was capable of sitting down, I'm quite sure that would be one seat used.

Don't forget, I recall that you get really angry and anxious about the way that the Cowley Road benefits from so many buses going to BBL & Central Oxford. If the Science Park/Kassam had a light/rail halt too - Littlemore would have an express service to central Oxford...
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Harridan and citizen Sunday are closer to objective reality than Andrew - who often seems to dwell in the subjective nether world of totally unreal! As for trams being able to seat 80 and have standing room for 250 people .... does that include the elderly, disabled, those in wheelchairs and - all those young parents with oversized baby-buggies? Trams are expensive to run and maintain, and are totally inflexible in operation fixed to their rails - they cannot be diverted or sent anywhere which doesn't have that expensive rail infrastructure. Where tramways have been introduced in the UK, it has required massive funding - not simply to implement, but on-going. nor are trams or light railways the solution for rural Oxfordshire, where it would be impractical and financial suicide of a local authority or private operator to replace bus and mini-bus services with either light rail or trams. Mind you, for those who still support the 'Flat Earth Society' and believe the Moon actually is made of 'green cheese' then I suppose anything is possible![/p][/quote]Best to check the specification of the trams around Europe before querying the capacity. As long as an elderly person wasn't obese and was capable of sitting down, I'm quite sure that would be one seat used. Don't forget, I recall that you get really angry and anxious about the way that the Cowley Road benefits from so many buses going to BBL & Central Oxford. If the Science Park/Kassam had a light/rail halt too - Littlemore would have an express service to central Oxford... Andrew:Oxford

4:32pm Sat 29 Jun 13

Citizen Sunday says...

Patrick in Devon wrote:
Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater.
I don't think trams are totally unrealistic for Oxford itself- just not at county level. The one part I do agree with Myron on (gosh), is that tram or light rail is not the solution for rural Oxfordshire.
Trains between towns; trams/monorail/under
ground within towns...
[quote][p][bold]Patrick in Devon[/bold] wrote: Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater.[/p][/quote]I don't think trams are totally unrealistic for Oxford itself- just not at county level. The one part I do agree with Myron on (gosh), is that tram or light rail is not the solution for rural Oxfordshire. Trains between towns; trams/monorail/under ground within towns... Citizen Sunday

5:35pm Sat 29 Jun 13

Patrick in Devon says...

Citizen Sunday wrote:
Patrick in Devon wrote:
Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater.
I don't think trams are totally unrealistic for Oxford itself- just not at county level. The one part I do agree with Myron on (gosh), is that tram or light rail is not the solution for rural Oxfordshire.
Trains between towns; trams/monorail/under

ground within towns...
A conventional rail service to Witney would probably cost more than a light rail link, and then only provide, at best,a half hourly service to Oxford station, which is not the destination for the majority of people. A light rail link could provide a 10 minute interval service with more stops, and be extended to the major destinations in the "eastern arc" of Oxford, while serving park and ride sites further out.

This is the sort of thing that is being widely developed in both Europe and the USA. It needs to start happening here.
[quote][p][bold]Citizen Sunday[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Patrick in Devon[/bold] wrote: Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater.[/p][/quote]I don't think trams are totally unrealistic for Oxford itself- just not at county level. The one part I do agree with Myron on (gosh), is that tram or light rail is not the solution for rural Oxfordshire. Trains between towns; trams/monorail/under ground within towns...[/p][/quote]A conventional rail service to Witney would probably cost more than a light rail link, and then only provide, at best,a half hourly service to Oxford station, which is not the destination for the majority of people. A light rail link could provide a 10 minute interval service with more stops, and be extended to the major destinations in the "eastern arc" of Oxford, while serving park and ride sites further out. This is the sort of thing that is being widely developed in both Europe and the USA. It needs to start happening here. Patrick in Devon

8:06pm Sat 29 Jun 13

the wizard says...

The main problem is NOT cost. The main problem is that OCC have continually ignored the traffic problems across the whole county for years and are experts at painting themselves into a corner.
Folk like Myron Blatz are obviously unaware of the horrendous costs in running services like the S1 and S2 , and are probably also blissfully unaware of the fuel type used in these vehicles and the costs involved.

If OCC is to look at light rail, then it must look at a network. Carterton through to Wheatley and Abingdon through to Bicester, via Kidlington is also a must, with both routes have links to services to take passengers further on.

Who will foot the bill, well eventually Joe Public in one form or another.
Grants from the EC, HM Gov and an input from the service provider. It has to happen as HM GOV and OCC have failed the Oxfordshire public for far to long, and anything which takes vehicles off of the A40 and A34 must be welcomed. Large car parks at a moderate cost and plenty of secure facilities for bikes and motor cycles will entice people. It is high time the positives were seized on rather than capitulation which normally over rides such issues. the reduction of pollution should also be taken into consideration. As for the bats, nature has shown it is able to adapt and they will find new homes, same as we have to.
The main problem is NOT cost. The main problem is that OCC have continually ignored the traffic problems across the whole county for years and are experts at painting themselves into a corner. Folk like Myron Blatz are obviously unaware of the horrendous costs in running services like the S1 and S2 , and are probably also blissfully unaware of the fuel type used in these vehicles and the costs involved. If OCC is to look at light rail, then it must look at a network. Carterton through to Wheatley and Abingdon through to Bicester, via Kidlington is also a must, with both routes have links to services to take passengers further on. Who will foot the bill, well eventually Joe Public in one form or another. Grants from the EC, HM Gov and an input from the service provider. It has to happen as HM GOV and OCC have failed the Oxfordshire public for far to long, and anything which takes vehicles off of the A40 and A34 must be welcomed. Large car parks at a moderate cost and plenty of secure facilities for bikes and motor cycles will entice people. It is high time the positives were seized on rather than capitulation which normally over rides such issues. the reduction of pollution should also be taken into consideration. As for the bats, nature has shown it is able to adapt and they will find new homes, same as we have to. the wizard

11:15am Sun 30 Jun 13

Citizen Sunday says...

Patrick in Devon wrote:
Citizen Sunday wrote:
Patrick in Devon wrote:
Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater.
I don't think trams are totally unrealistic for Oxford itself- just not at county level. The one part I do agree with Myron on (gosh), is that tram or light rail is not the solution for rural Oxfordshire.
Trains between towns; trams/monorail/under


ground within towns...
A conventional rail service to Witney would probably cost more than a light rail link, and then only provide, at best,a half hourly service to Oxford station, which is not the destination for the majority of people. A light rail link could provide a 10 minute interval service with more stops, and be extended to the major destinations in the "eastern arc" of Oxford, while serving park and ride sites further out.

This is the sort of thing that is being widely developed in both Europe and the USA. It needs to start happening here.
Times do change- and after a little research into the German public transport system, you may well be right. But to do it right, it would have to be done over a wider area to be used as a proper 'local network' such as suggested by 'the wizard'.
The problem is it would require a lot of joined-up thinking involving many different local 'constituencies', 'boards' and 'councils', and this being England means having to work round a very bad case of 'too many friars, and not enough monks' (if you catch my drift).
[quote][p][bold]Patrick in Devon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Citizen Sunday[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Patrick in Devon[/bold] wrote: Those who think trams are unrealistic for the Oxford aera should go out more often. If Le Havre, Mulhouse, Brescia, Grenoble, Avignon (all similar to Oxford) are too far, try Manchester. Piecemeal road schemes are no answer, as they simply encourage more car traffic until they fill up too, and the jams pop up somewhere else. Where you have trunk roads clogged by local traffic, a historic city centre with little room for redevelopment, problems of accessibilty and air pollution, a radical alternative is needed. The cost of inaction will be far greater.[/p][/quote]I don't think trams are totally unrealistic for Oxford itself- just not at county level. The one part I do agree with Myron on (gosh), is that tram or light rail is not the solution for rural Oxfordshire. Trains between towns; trams/monorail/under ground within towns...[/p][/quote]A conventional rail service to Witney would probably cost more than a light rail link, and then only provide, at best,a half hourly service to Oxford station, which is not the destination for the majority of people. A light rail link could provide a 10 minute interval service with more stops, and be extended to the major destinations in the "eastern arc" of Oxford, while serving park and ride sites further out. This is the sort of thing that is being widely developed in both Europe and the USA. It needs to start happening here.[/p][/quote]Times do change- and after a little research into the German public transport system, you may well be right. But to do it right, it would have to be done over a wider area to be used as a proper 'local network' such as suggested by 'the wizard'. The problem is it would require a lot of joined-up thinking involving many different local 'constituencies', 'boards' and 'councils', and this being England means having to work round a very bad case of 'too many friars, and not enough monks' (if you catch my drift). Citizen Sunday

12:11pm Sun 30 Jun 13

Patrick in Devon says...

Spot on, Citizen, but the County Council is the Transport Authority, and is responsible for the joined up thinking, the planning,financing.a
nd delivery.

Given the importance of developing the economy of Oxfordshire, for the wider UK economy, it needs to come up with a plan, and ask for help from national government. Piecemeal planning, patch and mend, tinkering etc simply will not do. A long term sustainable solution is needed, without having to reinvent the wheel. Just think big and go with the flow!
Spot on, Citizen, but the County Council is the Transport Authority, and is responsible for the joined up thinking, the planning,financing.a nd delivery. Given the importance of developing the economy of Oxfordshire, for the wider UK economy, it needs to come up with a plan, and ask for help from national government. Piecemeal planning, patch and mend, tinkering etc simply will not do. A long term sustainable solution is needed, without having to reinvent the wheel. Just think big and go with the flow! Patrick in Devon

12:02pm Tue 2 Jul 13

alu355 says...

Yes big thinking is needed although at the moment we can't even get London Road resurfaced after 4 years of problems. £5million is being spent on spaces at Thornhill, a bike hire scheme and a bit of extra bus lane but this is a drop in the ocean to what is needed and 900 extra homes at Barton isn't going to help matters.
Yes big thinking is needed although at the moment we can't even get London Road resurfaced after 4 years of problems. £5million is being spent on spaces at Thornhill, a bike hire scheme and a bit of extra bus lane but this is a drop in the ocean to what is needed and 900 extra homes at Barton isn't going to help matters. alu355

4:37pm Tue 2 Jul 13

hotel inspector. O.C.C. says...

The main problem here is that there is no public transport left. whilst we have a "for profit" business, and not a "public service" transport system then we will never have the for all improvements that are needed. Maybe Souter will dig into his cash laden pockets, and give something back to the residents in Oxon in the form of a light railway, but seeing as it would be a money pit, I very much doubt it.
The main problem here is that there is no public transport left. whilst we have a "for profit" business, and not a "public service" transport system then we will never have the for all improvements that are needed. Maybe Souter will dig into his cash laden pockets, and give something back to the residents in Oxon in the form of a light railway, but seeing as it would be a money pit, I very much doubt it. hotel inspector. O.C.C.

2:25pm Thu 4 Jul 13

Madi50n says...

Something needs to be done in Oxford and the towns that service it. Commute times are getting longer and longer; and the fuel consumed in the 1st gear 2nd gear crawl is causing pollution and financial hardship.

This is the 21st century and a city like Oxford should look to those cities that have taken a holistic view of public transport and made a huge difference to its citizens and commuting workers.

Tram-trains make enormous sense, improving cycling facilities and cleaner running buses do too; making it easier for a lot more people to leave their cars at home, will also make it easier for those drivers who need to use them.

Oxford's problem has been that it tries to force people on to buses or bikes.

The idea that, making driving so bad that anything else is better, is a bad idea.

People respond to carrots more than sticks.

Make it easy and cheap for people to use public transport and they probably will.

It's not about giving priority to public transport or cars or cycle; they should all be considered equally and catered for equally. If you say one set of people deserve priority over another, all you'll create is a belligerent, two-fingers to you mate, attitude from all parties.

If Oxford carries on the way it has done, pretty soon gridlock will occur, and only the council can be held responsible for that.
Something needs to be done in Oxford and the towns that service it. Commute times are getting longer and longer; and the fuel consumed in the 1st gear 2nd gear crawl is causing pollution and financial hardship. This is the 21st century and a city like Oxford should look to those cities that have taken a holistic view of public transport and made a huge difference to its citizens and commuting workers. Tram-trains make enormous sense, improving cycling facilities and cleaner running buses do too; making it easier for a lot more people to leave their cars at home, will also make it easier for those drivers who need to use them. Oxford's problem has been that it tries to force people on to buses or bikes. The idea that, making driving so bad that anything else is better, is a bad idea. People respond to carrots more than sticks. Make it easy and cheap for people to use public transport and they probably will. It's not about giving priority to public transport or cars or cycle; they should all be considered equally and catered for equally. If you say one set of people deserve priority over another, all you'll create is a belligerent, two-fingers to you mate, attitude from all parties. If Oxford carries on the way it has done, pretty soon gridlock will occur, and only the council can be held responsible for that. Madi50n

6:47pm Thu 4 Jul 13

nickwilcock says...

No-one is going to ride a bike from Carterton to Oxford in the depths of Winter.

No-one is going to invest in rail infrastructure from Carterton and Witney to Oxford whilst the government is obsessed with the nonsense of HS2.

But what if a large, secure and cheap park-and-ride was built just south east of the A40 / B4449 junction near Eynsham? Good bus / car access from the A40 and right next to the old railway trackbed from Eynsham to Yarnton. Only about 2.5 miles of track would be needed; rather than a new line into Oxford, a shuttle train could link the Eynsham park-and-ride to a main line station at Yarnton, running back and forth at a suitable frequency several times per hour. Existing bus services could also link to the park-and-ride station.
No-one is going to ride a bike from Carterton to Oxford in the depths of Winter. No-one is going to invest in rail infrastructure from Carterton and Witney to Oxford whilst the government is obsessed with the nonsense of HS2. But what if a large, secure and cheap park-and-ride was built just south east of the A40 / B4449 junction near Eynsham? Good bus / car access from the A40 and right next to the old railway trackbed from Eynsham to Yarnton. Only about 2.5 miles of track would be needed; rather than a new line into Oxford, a shuttle train could link the Eynsham park-and-ride to a main line station at Yarnton, running back and forth at a suitable frequency several times per hour. Existing bus services could also link to the park-and-ride station. nickwilcock

11:05pm Thu 4 Jul 13

Patrick in Devon says...

nickwilcock wrote:
No-one is going to ride a bike from Carterton to Oxford in the depths of Winter.

No-one is going to invest in rail infrastructure from Carterton and Witney to Oxford whilst the government is obsessed with the nonsense of HS2.

But what if a large, secure and cheap park-and-ride was built just south east of the A40 / B4449 junction near Eynsham? Good bus / car access from the A40 and right next to the old railway trackbed from Eynsham to Yarnton. Only about 2.5 miles of track would be needed; rather than a new line into Oxford, a shuttle train could link the Eynsham park-and-ride to a main line station at Yarnton, running back and forth at a suitable frequency several times per hour. Existing bus services could also link to the park-and-ride station.
Spot on. HS2 is a nonsense while we lack modern local transport. Europe is decades ahead of us.

The idea of a park and ride near Eynsham is good, and if OCC had any imagination, it would also be a bus interchange from Carterton/Witney.

The problem though, with any scheme that simply stops at Oxford station, remains the onward travel across the city. A tram/train would have to be a tram - and where would you squeeze in a tramway, involving years of major roadworks? Surely a tunnel is the best option.
[quote][p][bold]nickwilcock[/bold] wrote: No-one is going to ride a bike from Carterton to Oxford in the depths of Winter. No-one is going to invest in rail infrastructure from Carterton and Witney to Oxford whilst the government is obsessed with the nonsense of HS2. But what if a large, secure and cheap park-and-ride was built just south east of the A40 / B4449 junction near Eynsham? Good bus / car access from the A40 and right next to the old railway trackbed from Eynsham to Yarnton. Only about 2.5 miles of track would be needed; rather than a new line into Oxford, a shuttle train could link the Eynsham park-and-ride to a main line station at Yarnton, running back and forth at a suitable frequency several times per hour. Existing bus services could also link to the park-and-ride station.[/p][/quote]Spot on. HS2 is a nonsense while we lack modern local transport. Europe is decades ahead of us. The idea of a park and ride near Eynsham is good, and if OCC had any imagination, it would also be a bus interchange from Carterton/Witney. The problem though, with any scheme that simply stops at Oxford station, remains the onward travel across the city. A tram/train would have to be a tram - and where would you squeeze in a tramway, involving years of major roadworks? Surely a tunnel is the best option. Patrick in Devon

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