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Oxford city centre bus gate plan scrapped

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image captionBus gates are part of measures to reduce traffic jams

Plans for two temporary bus gates for Oxford have been scrapped.

The gates were due to be installed in Hythe Bridge Street or Worcester Street and in St Cross Road or South Parks Road, under city and county council plans.

The measures would have blocked cars from travelling through much of the city centre.

But on Tuesday the county council's cabinet decided not to go ahead, citing the impact on businesses and residents.

A bus gate is a measure which allows only buses, cyclists, emergency vehicles and other limited exempt users to access certain roads at particular times of day.

Their aim is to encourage people to use more public transport and to cycle in a bid to reduce traffic congestion.

'Don't risk livelihoods'

The county council said rather than implement the bus gates, it would instead "promote active travel choices under the council's wider transport initiatives".

Those projects include launching a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in Oxford, which would ban all petrol and diesel vehicles from the city centre but which was postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

Mark Bhagwandin, chairman of Oxford Conservatives, backed the decision and said it was "absolutely necessary that the livelihood of thousands of workers are not put at risk by schemes like these".

The bus gates had originally been proposed to "assist Oxford's recovery from the coronavirus and allow more road space for cyclists and pedestrians".

More than 7,200 people responded to a consultation with 46% saying they thought the installation of bus gates was a bad idea.

Meanwhile 35% said the plan was a good idea and 15% said they thought it was good but were "concerned about the details".

Other bus gates are already used in Oxford in High Street, George Street and Castle Street.

Related Topics

  • Traffic congestion and policy
  • UK air pollution
  • Oxford
  • Bus travel

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