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• A bus gateway is a form of restriction that allows only buses, cyclists, emergency vehicles and other limited users to access key roads (often 7am-7pm).
• Bus gateways do not prevent access but encourage through traffic to take a different route to reduce the use of the city centre.
• The city centre already operates bus gateways at High Street, George Street and Castle Street.
• These bus gateways have helped reduce congestion and allow bus passengers to enjoy faster journeys.
• Oxfordshire County Council will be implementing two temporary bus gateways in August 2020, funded by Oxford City Council. These are on Worcester Street and St Cross Road. A third temporary bus gateway on Thames Street is being considered
Broad Street has outstanding architectural quality and there is a dearth of public space in Oxford. All public parking should be removed and the square repaved primarily for pedestrians and cyclists.
The High Street and St Aldates are extremely congested areas for pedestrians: improvements depend on the implementation of the city centre bus gates.
The High Street looking west towards Carfax, from the Longwall traffic lights: One-way traffic in the High Street and St Aldates is an alternative vision which would reduce the congestion in St Aldates and free up space for safe cycle routes and attractive walkways. Picture from Andy Coram. Sketch by Frazer Hembrow
Iffley Road, looking towards Rose Hill: How our main roads could be with less traffic, wider pavements and cycle paths, and no parking
St Giles is one of Oxford’s jewels, but currently the space is devoted almost entirely to parking and traffic movements. In contrast to the wide expanse of carriageway and parking, footways are narrow. Pedestrian congestion along the west side is often severe.
Removing the parking and narrowing the traffic lanes would create a wonderful space for people, enhanced by cafés, flowers, and sculptures. This could happen overnight. In the longer-term, a Las Ramblas solution could be even better, with all the people in the centre and the traffic on the edges.
Hythe Bridge Street is the gateway from Oxford train station to the city centre. Conditions for pedestrians are extremely poor. The pavements are narrow and overcrowded, but are used by around 10,000 pedestrians a day, with large numbers pulling trolley cases. This is a principal cycle street.
When the Worcester Street bus gate is opened in August, traffic will be a lot less, so Hythe Bridge Street can be made into an attractive place to walk and cycle. It would be a worthy entrance to the City.