Latest Rail News

06.05.15

Oxford Metro plans receive early local support

Experts have claimed that a network of trams could help solve Oxford’s problem of how to develop new housing without increasing congestion on the city’s roads. 

The Trams for Oxford report, produced by a team headed by award-winning planning consultant Dr Nicholas Falk and transport specialists from both of Oxford’s universities, argues that modern light rail transit could be the saviour of historic cities such as Oxford. 

Proposed plans for the Oxford Metro would be developed in stages and could involve a modern tramway system of two or three lines on the main radial routes together with upgraded local rail services. This could be complemented by fast buses between Witney and Abingdon and into the city. 

The network would also link up places like Barton, Botley and Kidlington with the city centre and major developments such as the Northern Gateway and the new Oxford Parkway station at Water Eaton. 

A tram network could be funded by using the uplift in land values from housing development around the city’s edges. 

The report appeared as Oxford City Council this week said it believed “a tram network would attract a wider range of users than a bus-based solution”. 

In support of the plans, international tram expert Jim Harkins, secretary of the All Party Parliament Light Rail Group, said: “We welcome the report and the forward-looking stance of both Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council in recognising the key role a tram system could play in improving the quality of life and environmental health, as well as transforming public transport around the Oxford area. 

“TramForward and the tramway industry’s trade organisation UK Tram will be eager to assist in offering knowledge and examples of good tramway construction and operational practices being used throughout the world.” 

Oxfordshire County Council leader, Conservative Cllr Ian Hudspeth believes trams may have a role in Oxford, but “it would depend on funding becoming available”. 

Oxford City Council leader, Labour’s Cllr Bob Price, added that the city will have to increase the provision of public transport. “Trams, light train routes and bus rapid transit will all have to play a part,” he said. 

(Image: St Giles, Oxford, with mass transit and pedestrianised space. Source: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk) 

The April/May 2015 edition of RTM is now available for FREE using the new RTM App, available on iOS and Android. Search ‘RTM Magazine’ in the App Store / Google Play. 

Comments

Lutz   09/05/2015 at 13:27

'Plans'? Outline proposals if there is no budget, and where are the cost estimates??? Election vote grab stunt?

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