Headington is ‘saturated’ with traffic, report finds

The Oxford Times: Headington county councillor Roz Smith with queuing traffic in London Road            Picture: OX65592 Antony Moore Buy this photo Headington county councillor Roz Smith with queuing traffic in London Road Picture: OX65592 Antony Moore

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.

Headington is home to the John Radcliffe Hospital as well as the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Churchill Hospital, Oxford Brookes University and Oxford University’s Old Road campus.

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.

Comments (9)

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7:34am Thu 27 Feb 14

Danny A says...

Seriously?
What does this £26K report tell us that we DON'T already know.
And what SOLUTIONS does it propose.
Seriously? What does this £26K report tell us that we DON'T already know. And what SOLUTIONS does it propose. Danny A
  • Score: 4

8:28am Thu 27 Feb 14

bart-on simpson says...

Make the Thornhill P+R free, let the London Road between the Headington roundabout and Bury Knowle park deteriorate to such an extent that it becomes impassable, then spend 7 weeks repaiing it a cost of £3K per metre, and at the same time reduce traffic flow by 50% due to traffic lights etc, and that should ease congestion in quite a bit of Headington for much of 2014. The same wheeze can be applied in 2017 and 2020, by which time the mass cyclists of old and new Barton will have carved out their own cycle superhighway and reducing car space even further. Having a successor to the late David Edwards, as Transport Officer to the JR Hospital Trust, would also assist matters.
Make the Thornhill P+R free, let the London Road between the Headington roundabout and Bury Knowle park deteriorate to such an extent that it becomes impassable, then spend 7 weeks repaiing it a cost of £3K per metre, and at the same time reduce traffic flow by 50% due to traffic lights etc, and that should ease congestion in quite a bit of Headington for much of 2014. The same wheeze can be applied in 2017 and 2020, by which time the mass cyclists of old and new Barton will have carved out their own cycle superhighway and reducing car space even further. Having a successor to the late David Edwards, as Transport Officer to the JR Hospital Trust, would also assist matters. bart-on simpson
  • Score: 2

9:29am Thu 27 Feb 14

roboxfordshire says...

You needed a bloody report to tell you this?

All you've got to do is take pressure away from the London Road. This will cost a lot of money building new roads in different areas but this will improve the problem. Any other solution is just a waste of time and money.
You needed a bloody report to tell you this? All you've got to do is take pressure away from the London Road. This will cost a lot of money building new roads in different areas but this will improve the problem. Any other solution is just a waste of time and money. roboxfordshire
  • Score: 1

9:31am Thu 27 Feb 14

Scally says...

St Andrews Road in Old Headington seems to be used as a short cut a bottle neck of traffic during builds up. I live in Northway Esates my journey has to take me on this route it's a. Nightmare . Has a traffic survey been conducted in this area as the volume of traffic causes grid lock the attitude of some drivers makes a bad situation worse.
St Andrews Road in Old Headington seems to be used as a short cut a bottle neck of traffic during builds up. I live in Northway Esates my journey has to take me on this route it's a. Nightmare . Has a traffic survey been conducted in this area as the volume of traffic causes grid lock the attitude of some drivers makes a bad situation worse. Scally
  • Score: 1

9:55am Thu 27 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

There's only one way to sort this permanently

Time for Roz to pledge to support a massive investment in tram/light rail infrastructure for Oxford.
There's only one way to sort this permanently Time for Roz to pledge to support a massive investment in tram/light rail infrastructure for Oxford. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Thu 27 Feb 14

King Joke says...

roboxfordshire wrote:
You needed a bloody report to tell you this? All you've got to do is take pressure away from the London Road. This will cost a lot of money building new roads in different areas but this will improve the problem. Any other solution is just a waste of time and money.
Rob, what do propose when the new roads have filled up with traffic?
[quote][p][bold]roboxfordshire[/bold] wrote: You needed a bloody report to tell you this? All you've got to do is take pressure away from the London Road. This will cost a lot of money building new roads in different areas but this will improve the problem. Any other solution is just a waste of time and money.[/p][/quote]Rob, what do propose when the new roads have filled up with traffic? King Joke
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Arnold.Brewer says...

Wow, amazing a report to tell us what we all know!!
Now sort it out - start by making all London bound buses terminate at Thornhill and make Thornhill FREE and a proper Hub
Then put in proper cycle only lanes between Thornhill and the Hospitals and the City Centre ( not just painted lines for vehicles to driver over)
And - get a tram system installed to replace all the other buses asap.
Job done!
Wow, amazing a report to tell us what we all know!! Now sort it out - start by making all London bound buses terminate at Thornhill and make Thornhill FREE and a proper Hub Then put in proper cycle only lanes between Thornhill and the Hospitals and the City Centre ( not just painted lines for vehicles to driver over) And - get a tram system installed to replace all the other buses asap. Job done! Arnold.Brewer
  • Score: 2

12:49pm Thu 27 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Terminate all the London buses at Thornhill and you can kiss goodbye to the service in its current form. The service works because it serves a wide part of the city directly and the rest of it with one change.

Buses in Headington account for a few hundred vehicle movements a day out of the 30k or so - so if you want to reduce traffic you need to look at vehicles other than buses.
Terminate all the London buses at Thornhill and you can kiss goodbye to the service in its current form. The service works because it serves a wide part of the city directly and the rest of it with one change. Buses in Headington [and other busy corridors] account for a few hundred vehicle movements a day out of the 30k or so - so if you want to reduce traffic you need to look at vehicles other than buses. King Joke
  • Score: 3

12:53pm Thu 27 Feb 14

olafpalme says...

Peak car. Excellent news. Motorists please note: you too could be one the of the cyclists whizzing past the congestion. Then we just need a good bus/tram line for those who physically can't walk/cycle.
Peak car. Excellent news. Motorists please note: you too could be one the of the cyclists whizzing past the congestion. Then we just need a good bus/tram line for those who physically can't walk/cycle. olafpalme
  • Score: 3

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