Bicester Village park and ride in the pipeline in bid to cut traffic on roads (From The Oxford Times)
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Bicester Village park and ride in the pipeline in bid to cut traffic on roads
12:00pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
Buy this photo » Work could start as early as next year on a new park and ride facility off the A41. Picture: OX62288 Jon Lewis
PLANS for a park and ride with free parking at Bicester Village will be submitted by November, it has been announced.
Oxfordshire County Council is to put in a planning application for an estimated 500-space facility off the A41 and Vendee Drive.
If approved, work would start early next year for a December 2014 opening at the site, opposite the Kingsmere estate.
The council said the operation would not be served by a dedicated bus service but routes to Oxford could use the facility.
The designer outlet is paying for the complex, which community relations director Miranda Markham said would be free.
She said: “It’s exciting for Bicester because it will be another mode of transport, another way to go to Oxford and it will be free.
“It will be a more consolidated form of park and ride for us.
“This will off-set parking at weekends and bank holidays.”
The county council’s Redbridge, Seacourt and Pear Tree city park and rides charge £2-a-day to park.
Free long-stay parking at Thornhill and Water Eaton was scrapped in April and short-stay fees apply from November 26.
Bicester Chamber of Commerce president Ben Jackson said: “The creation of a clearly signposted and adequately serviced park and ride that connects with Bicester town, Bicester Village as well as Oxford, would be seen as a tentative step forward in relieving pressure on the A34 and A41. This can only be of benefit.”
An early opening to help commuters hit by the February closure of the Bicester to Oxford train link would be welcome, he said. It will shut for 18 months for upgrading work.
Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said design work was on-going and he could not confirm the number of spaces and whether they would be free.
He said: “If planning approval is given we will work out the operational arrangements, including charging.”
The council submitted a screening opinion for a 500-space park and ride in April to see if it would require further environmental testing.
Mechanical diggers have recently been on site as part of site survey work. The project is part of £11m works to tackle congestion on the A41 and Oxford Road at the junction for Bicester Village.
It is part of a deal to expand Bicester Village, build a new Tesco and business park, approved January.
- Phase one: new junction for Tesco and the business park at the A41 with traffic lights.
- Phase two: four lanes at the A41/Bicester Village junction, with traffic lights and two lanes for Bicester traffic and two for the outlet.
- Phase three: “hamburger-style” roundabout by the Esso garage roundabout on the A41, allowing vehicles to drive through the middle.
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