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Headington is ‘saturated’ with traffic, report finds
A REPORT into Headington’s chronic traffic problems has said the area is saturated with vehicles at peak times.
Now campaigners have said the results of the review emphasise that action is needed to tackle the issue.
Oxfordshire County Council is putting together a strategy for transport in Headington which could mean changes to bus services, parking zones and cycle routes in the area.
The council commissioned a report, costing around £24,000, to find out what the situation currently is.
The report – by consultants WYG – said: “In most cases there appears to be little scope to accommodate additional traffic in peak periods due to limited availability of usable carriageway, unless available space is reallocated.
“In some circumstances however, even this is not feasible, such as Old Road.”
The county council launched the review last year saying Headington is one of the most significant job sites in Oxford and suffers from extensive congestion.
The Barton West development of nearly 900 homes is expected to add pressure to the area’s transport network County councillor for Headington Roz Smith said: “I am pleased that we have got this and we have got a better understanding of the issue.
“The amazing thing is how much traffic is coming into the area and this gives a recognition to residents and local councillors of how bad the situation is.
“I think some of the problems that we experience are more than we thought previously.
“And there are higher saturation points on some of our junctions than we thought.”
The review shows that traffic in Headington as a whole has not increased between 2003 and 2012 – but it has in London Road and Horspath Driftway.
However, it says more than a third of commuters come from outside Oxford with a “considerable number” coming from areas like Witney and Carterton that have no direct bus service to the area.
Patrick Coulter, of residents group Headington Action, said: “The problem in Headington is that there is a great deal of through traffic and a large number of institutions with a lot of people working there and visiting them.
“This problem hasn’t changed for the past 10 years and both London Road and Old Road are both at capacity at peak times.”
County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “The county council has been investing in a range of transport measures in recent years in Headington, and the report is clear that continued investment is needed.
“We see the report as providing a good baseline to inform future plans for the area.”
Some of the report’s main findings
- There are significant demands for travel to, from and within Headington.
- A significant demand for travel into Headington originates from the surrounding villages and market towns, particularly for the major employers such as the Oxford University NHS Trust.
- Parking is a key issue for the area, both in terms of private parking related to major employers and institutions within the study area and also the management of on-street parking.
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