'More city traffic problems could turn shoppers away'

Keith Slater

Keith Slater

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

SHOPPERS could be put off coming into Oxford if potential traffic problems posed by new developments aren’t addressed, it has been claimed.

Keith Slater of the Oxfordshire Town Chamber Network, said it was not yet clear what measures would be taken to compensate for the increased road congestion a redeveloped Westgate Centre and the Northern Gateway will cause.

Mr Slater said: “If you look at the proposed space available, the indication is that the retail turnover may need to rise by 50 per cent to pay for the development. How it could do that, without building extra parking or improving any existing road systems, is the big question.”

The Westgate car park holds 1,200 vehicles and a proposed basement car park would provide 1,000 more spaces.

One motorist suggested shoppers could be attracted to retail destinations outside Oxford such as Marriotts Walk in Witney, which offers free parking, if traffic in the city gets any worse.

Tony Chalkly, from Witney, said: “Congestion around the Oxford area can already turn what, on a good day, can be a 15-minute journey into an hour’s drive. Why queue from Botley to get into Oxford and pay parking when you could just go somewhere elsewhere like Witney and pay nothing?”

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) also fears a proposed link road between the A40 and A44 will not be enough to combat congestion caused by the Northern Gateway, north of Oxford.

Sietske Boeles, chairman of CPRE Oxford, said: “Sorting out the transport issues is absolutely vital. Commuters in this area already suffer enormous delays and could face even longer journey times.”

But Colin Cook, city council board member for city development, said: “Ideally, you would want everything in place before the Westgate development. But if you wait for X to happen before Y, nothing would get built.”

A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council, which is responsible for highways, said it was “determined to ensure Oxfordshire has a transport system fit for the future.”

Comments (9)

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9:06am Fri 7 Mar 14

Soggybotham says...

What you really want is a 112-space car park within easy strolling distance, say the other side of Magdalen Bridge, in St Clement's, like there is now.

What? They are building student flats on it? Now where's the sense in that?
What you really want is a 112-space car park within easy strolling distance, say the other side of Magdalen Bridge, in St Clement's, like there is now. What? They are building student flats on it? Now where's the sense in that? Soggybotham
  • Score: 6

10:18am Fri 7 Mar 14

mytaxes says...

Why does the CPRE have to comment on all developments in this city? When you become a spokesperson for them do you automatically become an expert on everything?
Why does the CPRE have to comment on all developments in this city? When you become a spokesperson for them do you automatically become an expert on everything? mytaxes
  • Score: 3

10:37am Fri 7 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

mytaxes wrote:
Why does the CPRE have to comment on all developments in this city? When you become a spokesperson for them do you automatically become an expert on everything?
No, they don't become an expert on everything, they merely *believe* they are an expert on everything.

But then all they do is "warn" and express "fear"...
[quote][p][bold]mytaxes[/bold] wrote: Why does the CPRE have to comment on all developments in this city? When you become a spokesperson for them do you automatically become an expert on everything?[/p][/quote]No, they don't become an expert on everything, they merely *believe* they are an expert on everything. But then all they do is "warn" and express "fear"... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 5

10:38am Fri 7 Mar 14

Patrick, Devon says...

mytaxes wrote:
Why does the CPRE have to comment on all developments in this city? When you become a spokesperson for them do you automatically become an expert on everything?
They comment because the OM asks them to every time an issue arises. It would be far better if they asked a more representative and better informed organisation, such as the Oxford Civic Society, to comment.

It would seem the Civic Society is the only voluntary body to be calling for a proper integrated approach to development and is calling on all Councils and Govt departments to cooperate. It also has a forward looking view on the importance of the Oxford region, and as such it isnt NIMBY, which makes a refreshing change for Oxford.
[quote][p][bold]mytaxes[/bold] wrote: Why does the CPRE have to comment on all developments in this city? When you become a spokesperson for them do you automatically become an expert on everything?[/p][/quote]They comment because the OM asks them to every time an issue arises. It would be far better if they asked a more representative and better informed organisation, such as the Oxford Civic Society, to comment. It would seem the Civic Society is the only voluntary body to be calling for a proper integrated approach to development and is calling on all Councils and Govt departments to cooperate. It also has a forward looking view on the importance of the Oxford region, and as such it isnt NIMBY, which makes a refreshing change for Oxford. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: 2

1:07pm Fri 7 Mar 14

King Joke says...

If people may be tempted away to Witney rather than going to Oxford, why are developers and retailers queuing up to pour investment into the Westgate? Maybe it's because the person who quoted this is from Witney and could get there easily? THis is not the case for everybody.
If people may be tempted away to Witney rather than going to Oxford, why are developers and retailers queuing up to pour investment into the Westgate? Maybe it's because the person who quoted this is from Witney and could get there easily? THis is not the case for everybody. King Joke
  • Score: 1

1:19pm Fri 7 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

Oxford has always had traffic problems; as stated in other articles, it's an ancient city with an ancient road system, and just cannot cope with the traffic.

Since the P&R is so popular, and Redbridge & Water Eaton are right next to the train line, how about some kind of metro/tram system instead of buses from the town?

Also the railway line to the car factory could be better used as a line into town, too.
Oxford has always had traffic problems; as stated in other articles, it's an ancient city with an ancient road system, and just cannot cope with the traffic. Since the P&R is so popular, and Redbridge & Water Eaton are right next to the train line, how about some kind of metro/tram system instead of buses from the town? Also the railway line to the car factory could be better used as a line into town, too. EMBOX2
  • Score: 2

1:27pm Fri 7 Mar 14

King Joke says...

Yes Embox, a tram system would be good, see the recent tram stories for mine and others' views on it. Our busiest bus corridors already have enough business to support tram services. Incidentally these are not the P&Rs but you're on the right lines.
Yes Embox, a tram system would be good, see the recent tram stories for mine and others' views on it. Our busiest bus corridors already have enough business to support tram services. Incidentally these are not the P&Rs but you're on the right lines. King Joke
  • Score: 1

3:31am Sat 8 Mar 14

The New Private Eye says...

King Joke wrote:
Yes Embox, a tram system would be good, see the recent tram stories for mine and others' views on it. Our busiest bus corridors already have enough business to support tram services. Incidentally these are not the P&Rs but you're on the right lines.
The reason that we won't get a Tram system (apart from the fact that the busiest routes do not have space for tram lines) is that Stagecoach and Go Ahead do not want to give up their cash cow when people switch to trams. Stagecoach may get a chance as a partner operator as in Manchester, but Go Ahead would be frozen out.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Yes Embox, a tram system would be good, see the recent tram stories for mine and others' views on it. Our busiest bus corridors already have enough business to support tram services. Incidentally these are not the P&Rs but you're on the right lines.[/p][/quote]The reason that we won't get a Tram system (apart from the fact that the busiest routes do not have space for tram lines) is that Stagecoach and Go Ahead do not want to give up their cash cow when people switch to trams. Stagecoach may get a chance as a partner operator as in Manchester, but Go Ahead would be frozen out. The New Private Eye
  • Score: 0

8:28am Mon 10 Mar 14

King Joke says...

The New Private Eye wrote:
King Joke wrote:
Yes Embox, a tram system would be good, see the recent tram stories for mine and others' views on it. Our busiest bus corridors already have enough business to support tram services. Incidentally these are not the P&Rs but you're on the right lines.
The reason that we won't get a Tram system (apart from the fact that the busiest routes do not have space for tram lines) is that Stagecoach and Go Ahead do not want to give up their cash cow when people switch to trams. Stagecoach may get a chance as a partner operator as in Manchester, but Go Ahead would be frozen out.
And your evidence that Go Ahead would be frozen out is...?
[quote][p][bold]The New Private Eye[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Yes Embox, a tram system would be good, see the recent tram stories for mine and others' views on it. Our busiest bus corridors already have enough business to support tram services. Incidentally these are not the P&Rs but you're on the right lines.[/p][/quote]The reason that we won't get a Tram system (apart from the fact that the busiest routes do not have space for tram lines) is that Stagecoach and Go Ahead do not want to give up their cash cow when people switch to trams. Stagecoach may get a chance as a partner operator as in Manchester, but Go Ahead would be frozen out.[/p][/quote]And your evidence that Go Ahead would be frozen out is...? King Joke
  • Score: 0

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