COMMENT: We cannot go on with road system that is so vulnerable

The Oxford Times: . .

FIRST the floods, then the gridlock. Who in their right mind would commute into Oxford if they could possibly avoid it?

Our beautiful, historic city is beset by the twin curses of flooding and traffic, both of which bring the place to a standstill with monotonous regularity.

As the waters recede, there were many who longed for a car-free Botley Road yesterday, as another set of impromptu roadworks at the Ferry Hinksey Road junction brought some of the worst queues seen for a long time.

Reports abounded of people taking up to two hours to complete journeys which usually took no longer than 15 minutes.

Children were late for school, adults late for work and countless other appointments missed or delayed. The cost to the local economy must be huge.

The roadworks were necessary, of that there is no doubt. But the communication and timing was nothing short of appalling.

Our fragile roads network is alarmingly susceptible to juddering to a frustrating halt.

It only takes a strategically placed accident, or a set of roadworks and the whole thing clogs up like a diseased artery.

Something has got to give and encouraging people on to buses and bicycles is not the panacea. If roadworks must be done, as many as possible should be in the evenings or at weekends.

And before the bean counters pipe up, they can hang the cost, which must be tiny compared to the fortune being wasted by leaving workers fuming in the jams.

We simply cannot go on like this.

Comments (20)

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10:22am Fri 17 Jan 14

downsview says...

Bus lanes priority along the main axis is what is needed to give an incentive to use the better pt offer compared with sitting in a queue.
Bus lanes priority along the main axis is what is needed to give an incentive to use the better pt offer compared with sitting in a queue. downsview
  • Score: -81

11:17am Fri 17 Jan 14

Bart_simpsonDoh says...

There are bus lanes along the Botley road and it made NO difference. It was appalling that the contractors were not made to use staff to control the lights, why did the council allow this to happen????????
There are bus lanes along the Botley road and it made NO difference. It was appalling that the contractors were not made to use staff to control the lights, why did the council allow this to happen???????? Bart_simpsonDoh
  • Score: -189

11:24am Fri 17 Jan 14

train passenger says...

Should have built North and South Oxford Parkway stations directly on the ring road many years ago with up-to-date electronic information (how much time do you save on a given day by chooising train over car) to keep people from driving into town. Then refund train tickets from those two stations to all those who spend at least 10 pounds in shops.
Should have built North and South Oxford Parkway stations directly on the ring road many years ago with up-to-date electronic information (how much time do you save on a given day by chooising train over car) to keep people from driving into town. Then refund train tickets from those two stations to all those who spend at least 10 pounds in shops. train passenger
  • Score: -66

11:26am Fri 17 Jan 14

museli says...

There just isn't room for all these people using cars to commute. Oxford is a little place - 7 miles from top to bottom - more people need to stop being lazy and get about under their own steam. We can't make the road space bigger so people will just have to be made to be less greedy about the way they use it.
There just isn't room for all these people using cars to commute. Oxford is a little place - 7 miles from top to bottom - more people need to stop being lazy and get about under their own steam. We can't make the road space bigger so people will just have to be made to be less greedy about the way they use it. museli
  • Score: 19

12:02pm Fri 17 Jan 14

King Joke says...

Bart_simpsonDoh wrote:
There are bus lanes along the Botley road and it made NO difference. It was appalling that the contractors were not made to use staff to control the lights, why did the council allow this to happen????????
The Botley Rd bus lane would work about a hundred times more effectively if the Binseay Lane bus gate were used to hold traffic back at Binsey Lane, rather than just allow buses into the back of the queue for the Ferry Hinksey and Frideswide Sq lights. It would make blow-all difference to journey times for general traffic while recuding bus journey times by several minutes.
[quote][p][bold]Bart_simpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: There are bus lanes along the Botley road and it made NO difference. It was appalling that the contractors were not made to use staff to control the lights, why did the council allow this to happen????????[/p][/quote]The Botley Rd bus lane would work about a hundred times more effectively if the Binseay Lane bus gate were used to hold traffic back at Binsey Lane, rather than just allow buses into the back of the queue for the Ferry Hinksey and Frideswide Sq lights. It would make blow-all difference to journey times for general traffic while recuding bus journey times by several minutes. King Joke
  • Score: 18

12:14pm Fri 17 Jan 14

1822Kim says...

And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!!
And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!! 1822Kim
  • Score: 16

12:31pm Fri 17 Jan 14

King Joke says...

THere are no school buses along the Botley rd, or at least I hope there aren't; why put kids on a separate bus when there are dozens of regular service buses an hour along there?
THere are no school buses along the Botley rd, or at least I hope there aren't; why put kids on a separate bus when there are dozens of regular service buses an hour along there? King Joke
  • Score: 16

12:56pm Fri 17 Jan 14

1822Kim says...

King Joke wrote:
THere are no school buses along the Botley rd, or at least I hope there aren't; why put kids on a separate bus when there are dozens of regular service buses an hour along there?
It isnt just the Botley Road this is referring too, it is the Oxford transport system as a whole. While I wholly sympathise with the residents and businesses on the Botley Rd that were so badly affected, there are other areas for example Abingdon Road that suffered massively too. These major roads being closed forced traffic in other routes causing major chaos around the whole of the City and outlaying areas for anyone trying to get anywhere by car (sorry that isnt meant to sound calous to anyone flooded out of their property). What I am merely suggesting is that removing the buses will create hundreds more cars on the Counties roads and make the matter worse for everyone.

As the article says if problems aren't caused by floods they are caused by roadworks or even accidents. There are simply too many vehicles already on the County roads.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: THere are no school buses along the Botley rd, or at least I hope there aren't; why put kids on a separate bus when there are dozens of regular service buses an hour along there?[/p][/quote]It isnt just the Botley Road this is referring too, it is the Oxford transport system as a whole. While I wholly sympathise with the residents and businesses on the Botley Rd that were so badly affected, there are other areas for example Abingdon Road that suffered massively too. These major roads being closed forced traffic in other routes causing major chaos around the whole of the City and outlaying areas for anyone trying to get anywhere by car (sorry that isnt meant to sound calous to anyone flooded out of their property). What I am merely suggesting is that removing the buses will create hundreds more cars on the Counties roads and make the matter worse for everyone. As the article says if problems aren't caused by floods they are caused by roadworks or even accidents. There are simply too many vehicles already on the County roads. 1822Kim
  • Score: 18

1:23pm Fri 17 Jan 14

King Joke says...

I'd never want to see kids transfer from other modes to the car; as you point out this would result in extra traffic. It's inefficient though to operate two parallel bus networks, one for schoolkids and one for the rest of us, and on this basis the county proposal to transfer some school journeys to the public bus network is a sensible one. This after all is how it works in London and the West Midlands. The flaw in the plan which we need to shout about is that the public network is being cut at the same time! The recent County consultation on the Witney area proposed some drastic cuts.
I'd never want to see kids transfer from other modes to the car; as you point out this would result in extra traffic. It's inefficient though to operate two parallel bus networks, one for schoolkids and one for the rest of us, and on this basis the county proposal to transfer some school journeys to the public bus network is a sensible one. This after all is how it works in London and the West Midlands. The flaw in the plan which we need to shout about is that the public network is being cut at the same time! The recent County consultation on the Witney area proposed some drastic cuts. King Joke
  • Score: 18

3:14pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

1822Kim wrote:
And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!!
Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW...

Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes.

Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours.
[quote][p][bold]1822Kim[/bold] wrote: And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!![/p][/quote]Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW... Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes. Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -25

3:38pm Fri 17 Jan 14

downsview says...

Good ness knows what sort of Maglev Andrew thinks is going to result in the journey times he quotes vast majority of commuters would be happy with a journey time of c. 30 mins. from Witney to Oxford in rush hour
20 years ago Guided Buses were proposed for A40 & that is what is still needed priority at traffic lights dedicated bus lane with signalling to allow 2 way working. All the houses built in Witney over the last 20 years should have paid a levy of £5K/unit to make a substantial contribution Northern Gateway similarly.
OOC no ambition hence the current make do & mend!
Good ness knows what sort of Maglev Andrew thinks is going to result in the journey times he quotes vast majority of commuters would be happy with a journey time of c. 30 mins. from Witney to Oxford in rush hour 20 years ago Guided Buses were proposed for A40 & that is what is still needed priority at traffic lights dedicated bus lane with signalling to allow 2 way working. All the houses built in Witney over the last 20 years should have paid a levy of £5K/unit to make a substantial contribution Northern Gateway similarly. OOC no ambition hence the current make do & mend! downsview
  • Score: -78

3:44pm Fri 17 Jan 14

1822Kim says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
1822Kim wrote:
And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!!
Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW...

Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes.

Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours.
Andrew that isnt the catchment school though!!!
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]1822Kim[/bold] wrote: And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!![/p][/quote]Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW... Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes. Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours.[/p][/quote]Andrew that isnt the catchment school though!!! 1822Kim
  • Score: 10

4:11pm Fri 17 Jan 14

JanetJ says...

Bart_simpsonDoh wrote:
There are bus lanes along the Botley road and it made NO difference. It was appalling that the contractors were not made to use staff to control the lights, why did the council allow this to happen????????
Bus lanes need to be both ways on all routes otherwise it will be more attractive and quicker to drive
[quote][p][bold]Bart_simpsonDoh[/bold] wrote: There are bus lanes along the Botley road and it made NO difference. It was appalling that the contractors were not made to use staff to control the lights, why did the council allow this to happen????????[/p][/quote]Bus lanes need to be both ways on all routes otherwise it will be more attractive and quicker to drive JanetJ
  • Score: -69

4:11pm Fri 17 Jan 14

JanetJ says...

downsview wrote:
Bus lanes priority along the main axis is what is needed to give an incentive to use the better pt offer compared with sitting in a queue.
Agree
[quote][p][bold]downsview[/bold] wrote: Bus lanes priority along the main axis is what is needed to give an incentive to use the better pt offer compared with sitting in a queue.[/p][/quote]Agree JanetJ
  • Score: -68

8:49pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

1822Kim wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
1822Kim wrote:
And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!!
Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW...

Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes.

Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours.
Andrew that isnt the catchment school though!!!
It would just take a decisive committee and a few taps on the keyboard to change the catchment school.
[quote][p][bold]1822Kim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]1822Kim[/bold] wrote: And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!![/p][/quote]Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW... Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes. Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours.[/p][/quote]Andrew that isnt the catchment school though!!![/p][/quote]It would just take a decisive committee and a few taps on the keyboard to change the catchment school. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -20

8:59pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

downsview wrote:
Good ness knows what sort of Maglev Andrew thinks is going to result in the journey times he quotes vast majority of commuters would be happy with a journey time of c. 30 mins. from Witney to Oxford in rush hour
20 years ago Guided Buses were proposed for A40 & that is what is still needed priority at traffic lights dedicated bus lane with signalling to allow 2 way working. All the houses built in Witney over the last 20 years should have paid a levy of £5K/unit to make a substantial contribution Northern Gateway similarly.
OOC no ambition hence the current make do & mend!
Well, it's about 1-1.5 Miles direct from mid-Kennington to Oxford Academy, Littlemore. So with the right infrastructure, it's not *that* unreasonable to suggest that a vehicle would be capable of averaging 30 miles per an hour for 3 minutes.

Likewise, it's around 10 miles from Witney to central Oxford along the route of the old railway. So a 12 minute non-stop journey between the two wouldn't be overly challenging to a modern train.
[quote][p][bold]downsview[/bold] wrote: Good ness knows what sort of Maglev Andrew thinks is going to result in the journey times he quotes vast majority of commuters would be happy with a journey time of c. 30 mins. from Witney to Oxford in rush hour 20 years ago Guided Buses were proposed for A40 & that is what is still needed priority at traffic lights dedicated bus lane with signalling to allow 2 way working. All the houses built in Witney over the last 20 years should have paid a levy of £5K/unit to make a substantial contribution Northern Gateway similarly. OOC no ambition hence the current make do & mend![/p][/quote]Well, it's about 1-1.5 Miles direct from mid-Kennington to Oxford Academy, Littlemore. So with the right infrastructure, it's not *that* unreasonable to suggest that a vehicle would be capable of averaging 30 miles per an hour for 3 minutes. Likewise, it's around 10 miles from Witney to central Oxford along the route of the old railway. So a 12 minute non-stop journey between the two wouldn't be overly challenging to a modern train. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -17

1:50am Sun 19 Jan 14

the wizard says...

i think most people are in universal agreement that both Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council couldn't run a bath let alone organize traffic or seek out appropriate solutions to the problems we have.

This has been endemic over the last 50 years where little has been done to resolve problems and instead building projects in the City and around the County have been allowed to progress with little or no supporting structure or thought as to the problems these projects would cause. Blindly building houses almost for the sake of it, poor location of schools and supporting facilities, and little or no increase in arterial route planning has exposed the councils and their planning departments for the shame that they are. Utterly disgraceful on a grand scale, and all they do is complain about the cost !! Had proper planning been done in the first place instead of building on every piece of grass available and new roads, dedicated cycle paths, and even to a point, bus only roads then we wouldn't be in this situation, but the public know all this, big shame the people paid to know it and implement it don't. The worrying thing is, they walk amongst us.
i think most people are in universal agreement that both Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council couldn't run a bath let alone organize traffic or seek out appropriate solutions to the problems we have. This has been endemic over the last 50 years where little has been done to resolve problems and instead building projects in the City and around the County have been allowed to progress with little or no supporting structure or thought as to the problems these projects would cause. Blindly building houses almost for the sake of it, poor location of schools and supporting facilities, and little or no increase in arterial route planning has exposed the councils and their planning departments for the shame that they are. Utterly disgraceful on a grand scale, and all they do is complain about the cost !! Had proper planning been done in the first place instead of building on every piece of grass available and new roads, dedicated cycle paths, and even to a point, bus only roads then we wouldn't be in this situation, but the public know all this, big shame the people paid to know it and implement it don't. The worrying thing is, they walk amongst us. the wizard
  • Score: -53

7:45am Sun 19 Jan 14

1822Kim says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
1822Kim wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
1822Kim wrote:
And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!!
Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW...

Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes.

Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours.
Andrew that isnt the catchment school though!!!
It would just take a decisive committee and a few taps on the keyboard to change the catchment school.
Andrew You cannot just change catchment schools like that it is a very misguided idea. Years of links between primary and secondary schools would be broken. Families in close knit communities split huge list of reasons why that is a really bad idea! This is however way off topic so will not argue further. Just slightly back on track though not only was the safe walking route from Kennington to OA closed for 6 days in the recent floods but the train route would have been under water too. Perhaps we should all give up work clai. Benefits and home tutor our kids !!!
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]1822Kim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]1822Kim[/bold] wrote: And this problem will be made so much worse if OCC decide to remove school buses and hundreds more parents take to the roads in their cars for the school run!!![/p][/quote]Just think. If there were a local railway network that linked Abingdon, Radley & Kennington with the Science Park, Business Park and BMW... Children from Radley & Kennington would be able to reach their closest school at Oxford Academy in around 3 minutes. Likewise a rail network linking Carterton, Witney to Oxford would mean a journey time of around 12 minutes rather than over 3 hours.[/p][/quote]Andrew that isnt the catchment school though!!![/p][/quote]It would just take a decisive committee and a few taps on the keyboard to change the catchment school.[/p][/quote]Andrew You cannot just change catchment schools like that it is a very misguided idea. Years of links between primary and secondary schools would be broken. Families in close knit communities split huge list of reasons why that is a really bad idea! This is however way off topic so will not argue further. Just slightly back on track though not only was the safe walking route from Kennington to OA closed for 6 days in the recent floods but the train route would have been under water too. Perhaps we should all give up work clai. Benefits and home tutor our kids !!! 1822Kim
  • Score: 12

3:53pm Thu 23 Jan 14

robbo81 says...

I've constantly said this but.... Parkway station. Somewhere near Water Eaton or Botley. Take the bus station out of Oxford too. Put camera's on box junctions etc to automate fines like in London, too many people in cars in oxford contravene basic road law and aren't punished but their small minded decisions cause massive delays. and have camera/cctv controlled lights rather than junctions/roundabout
s/timed lights like they do in Bristol. Priority can then be given to certain junctions or routes as they clog at rush hour.
I've constantly said this but.... Parkway station. Somewhere near Water Eaton or Botley. Take the bus station out of Oxford too. Put camera's on box junctions etc to automate fines like in London, too many people in cars in oxford contravene basic road law and aren't punished but their small minded decisions cause massive delays. and have camera/cctv controlled lights rather than junctions/roundabout s/timed lights like they do in Bristol. Priority can then be given to certain junctions or routes as they clog at rush hour. robbo81
  • Score: -25

5:50pm Thu 23 Jan 14

King Joke says...

Robbo, how much of the peak-time traffic is going towards Oxford station? Only this traffic would be removed by building a Parkway station. I suspect the percentage is very small and that it wouldn’t make much difference.

At any rate they ARE building one at Water Eaton. If when it opens in 2015, all Oxford’s traffic jams evaporate I will have been proved wrong; let’s see shall we?
Robbo, how much of the peak-time traffic is going towards Oxford station? Only this traffic would be removed by building a Parkway station. I suspect the percentage is very small and that it wouldn’t make much difference. At any rate they ARE building one at Water Eaton. If when it opens in 2015, all Oxford’s traffic jams evaporate I will have been proved wrong; let’s see shall we? King Joke
  • Score: 14

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