Focus of work
Campaigners in Oxford are in the rare position of backing the council’s own transformative policy proposal. Oxforshire Living Streets (OLS) want to ensure that every potentially supportive voice is heard. And they want to grow the number of supportive voices, by helping people take the intellectual journey from car-dominated transport to liveable transport. To do this, OLS are organising a house-to-house campaign. They are coordinating the groups that understand the need for better transport, and they are working with wavering councillors to bolster their support. OLS are building a movement to ensure that Oxford doesn’t lose this golden opportunity.
The highway authority in Oxford is bringing forward ambitious plans for re-prioritisation of space for transport. Plans include (i) “traffic filters” to prioritise buses and cycles on main routes, (ii) a workplace parking levy, and (iii) a larger zero-emission zone. Reclaiming road space for sustainable modes of travel benefits many groups, and will show the extent to which a privileged minority dominate our transportation system. OLS think this new Oxford will restore a degree of childhood and teen independence, with secondary benefits spanning physical health, mental health, and educational opportunities. Residents living in areas of higher relative deprivation will stand out as beneficiaries – either because they don’t own a car in the first place (but suffer from delays caused by those who do) or because they shift to car-club membership, making significant annual savings. Success in Oxford will provide a model for other cities in the UK to follow.