Trams vision for city centre revealed by council leader

Oxford Mail graphic artist Mel Costello gives his impression of how a ‘trolley-car’ might look in the High Street

Oxford Mail graphic artist Mel Costello gives his impression of how a ‘trolley-car’ might look in the High Street

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

TRAMS could hit the streets of central Oxford by the end of the decade.

The idea has been put forward by Bob Price, the leader of the city council, who has revealed he is looking to remove diesel-powered buses from the city streets.

No cost has been put on the scheme, nor an exact location, but Oxford City Council is looking into ways of making the city centre carbon-free.

Now Mr Price has said he wants to look at a scheme that could see trams that run on rails drive through as yet unspecified parts of the city centre.

He says the precise scheme he has in mind has not been tried anywhere in the world, but he is not looking at using overhead cables.

To investigate the idea, he will be meeting with other councils such as Milton Keynes.

That town has electrically powered bus schemes, although Mr Price has in mind a vehicle that would be a hybrid of a bus and a tram.

While he said Oxford’s system could conceivably run on rails, it would probably be unlike most European trams – and broadly be like the cable cars in San Francisco.

Oxford Mail:

One of the famous San Francisco trams

He said: “I don’t think it would work over long distances, so it is something which is regarded very much for a city-centre type operation.

“It would use the technology that Milton Keynes is using but perhaps look more like a tram.

“What I don’t think would suit Oxford would be something like buses. It would be something smaller.”

His own plan could revive tram use in the city for the first time in more than a century – after the old horse tram lines were dug up to be taken out in 1916.

Mr Price says the city council is interested in learning more about the scheme in Milton Keynes, which sees eight fully-electric buses run all day thanks to charging plates in the road in what is the first scheme of its kind in the UK.

He said: “It is our plan to contact Milton Keynes and go over and have a look and see how it works there.

“But we are very open-minded about the form this could take. We have got an aspiration but we are looking at the best ways of realising it.”

The issue of trams in Oxford city centre has been raised before – with city councillor John Tanner, the executive board member for Cleaner, Greener Oxford, saying in 2010 that a light railway tram system was “a possibility”.

How this new scheme would operate during flooding has not been revealed – nor has it been decided exactly where the vehicles would operate.

But Mr Price said that he did not think this would be the sort of scheme that could be extended out into Oxford’s suburbs.

Since January, Oxford city centre has been a low emission zone which only buses with an engine which meets high European Union standards may enter.

This is in a bid to lower pollution levels in the city centre which have failed to go below the target of 40ug/m3 – micrograms per cubic metre of air – since 2006.

One of the most polluted parts of the city centre is St Aldate’s, where Marc Winton’s Oxford Tattoo parlour is based.

He said: “Through the summer, we work here with the windows and doors open and we don’t notice that it is so polluted, but I can understand that the city council wants to reduce emissions.

“Environmentally, I think it is a good idea to keep the city centre clear. I guess if their intention is to replace the bus stops with tram stops, I would be completely in favour.

“We all live in a very polluted society so anything that helps to improve that is going to be a good thing.”

The city’s buses are already among the country’s least polluting and in 2010 a £7.5m fleet of 26 double-decker buses was the first in the UK to use pioneering green hybrid technology.

Buses could soon be removed from Queen Street as a result of the Westgate redevelopment but no final decision has been made yet and it is not clear what impact any tram plan might have on this proposal.

Philip Kirk, the managing director of Oxford Bus Company, said his vehicles were already among the greenest in Britain.

“Obviously we would welcome the chance to discuss any options that would take our environmental achievement to the next level,” he said.

“The Milton Keynes experiment is just that, and we are watching with interest what is going on there.”

County councillor David Nimmo Smith, the cabinet member for transport, said: “I am happy to talk to the city council about what they mean by this.

“It sounds like a good, green idea but it needs to be thought through. I will need to talk to the officers and I am not ruling it out.”

Stagecoach did not comment.

TIMELINE

Oxford Mail:

Horse trams in the High Street in the early 1900s

In the early 20th century, Oxford Bus Company – then known as the Oxford and District Tramways Company – operated a horse-drawn tram network which Oxford City Council considered taking over in 1905 with the intention of running an electric tram network.
But following public uproar and a public vote in 1906, the council decided against it, leaving the old system in place until William Morris started his own bus service shortly before the First World War.
The competition spurred the Tramways Company into moving into buses.
Oxford’s old horse tram lines were dug up in 1916 and it is thought that the metal rails were recycled for the war effort.
In 1994, Oxford Bus Company took part in a pilot for completely electric buses with Oxfordshire County Council and Southern Electric but the technology was not good enough.

Comments (31)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:00am Tue 25 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

The Bombardier Primove system would work well in Oxford.

Any tram system would have to be part of an integrated system for Oxfordshire though. There's no point if there has to be a mode change from car to electric at the city borders.

The city centre also tends to be the focus of these plans, perhaps because that's what the city and county council leaders see most of as they gaze out of their windows.

The largest employers aren't in the city centre though. The largest employers are closer to the ring-road at the Science Park, Business park, Mini, and through to the Churchill, Brookes, NoC and John Radcliffe.

The ideal transport system would start out at Carterton/Witney, following the railway through to Oxford Central station round to Redbridge, the Science Park, Business Park & Mini. From there make its way to serve The Churchill, Brookes & NoC across to the JR, then up to the new Railway Station at Oxford Parkway station.

When that is in place and revenue generating. Introduce the "nice to have" elements such as the service linking Botley with Barton through the city centre.

It would take millions of journeys off the roads and I am very keen that such a scheme is implemented in Oxford.

Sadly, unless a politically neutral organisation is set up to implement it, it will never happen. Whilst our local politicians may have visions - they simply can't implement a large project like this in the space of a political term nor do they have the project management skills.

Local "activsts" would never allow it either for the follow reasons:-

Catenary, outside the city centre, is bound to cause fear and alarm over views. (CPRE & Oxford Preservation?)
Rails may be slippery underfoot and cause a slip hazard. Ladies heels may get caught in the recess. (Oxford Pedestrians Association?)
Cyclists wheels may get trapped in the recess (Oxford Cyclist societies?).

But they'd continue to whine about traffic...
The Bombardier Primove system would work well in Oxford. Any tram system would have to be part of an integrated system for Oxfordshire though. There's no point if there has to be a mode change from car to electric at the city borders. The city centre also tends to be the focus of these plans, perhaps because that's what the city and county council leaders see most of as they gaze out of their windows. The largest employers aren't in the city centre though. The largest employers are closer to the ring-road at the Science Park, Business park, Mini, and through to the Churchill, Brookes, NoC and John Radcliffe. The ideal transport system would start out at Carterton/Witney, following the railway through to Oxford Central station round to Redbridge, the Science Park, Business Park & Mini. From there make its way to serve The Churchill, Brookes & NoC across to the JR, then up to the new Railway Station at Oxford Parkway station. When that is in place and revenue generating. Introduce the "nice to have" elements such as the service linking Botley with Barton through the city centre. It would take millions of journeys off the roads and I am very keen that such a scheme is implemented in Oxford. Sadly, unless a politically neutral organisation is set up to implement it, it will never happen. Whilst our local politicians may have visions - they simply can't implement a large project like this in the space of a political term nor do they have the project management skills. Local "activsts" would never allow it either for the follow reasons:- Catenary, outside the city centre, is bound to cause fear and alarm over views. (CPRE & Oxford Preservation?) Rails may be slippery underfoot and cause a slip hazard. Ladies heels may get caught in the recess. (Oxford Pedestrians Association?) Cyclists wheels may get trapped in the recess (Oxford Cyclist societies?). But they'd continue to whine about traffic... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -3

10:04am Tue 25 Feb 14

Christine Hovis says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
The Bombardier Primove system would work well in Oxford.

Any tram system would have to be part of an integrated system for Oxfordshire though. There's no point if there has to be a mode change from car to electric at the city borders.

The city centre also tends to be the focus of these plans, perhaps because that's what the city and county council leaders see most of as they gaze out of their windows.

The largest employers aren't in the city centre though. The largest employers are closer to the ring-road at the Science Park, Business park, Mini, and through to the Churchill, Brookes, NoC and John Radcliffe.

The ideal transport system would start out at Carterton/Witney, following the railway through to Oxford Central station round to Redbridge, the Science Park, Business Park & Mini. From there make its way to serve The Churchill, Brookes & NoC across to the JR, then up to the new Railway Station at Oxford Parkway station.

When that is in place and revenue generating. Introduce the "nice to have" elements such as the service linking Botley with Barton through the city centre.

It would take millions of journeys off the roads and I am very keen that such a scheme is implemented in Oxford.

Sadly, unless a politically neutral organisation is set up to implement it, it will never happen. Whilst our local politicians may have visions - they simply can't implement a large project like this in the space of a political term nor do they have the project management skills.

Local "activsts" would never allow it either for the follow reasons:-

Catenary, outside the city centre, is bound to cause fear and alarm over views. (CPRE & Oxford Preservation?)
Rails may be slippery underfoot and cause a slip hazard. Ladies heels may get caught in the recess. (Oxford Pedestrians Association?)
Cyclists wheels may get trapped in the recess (Oxford Cyclist societies?).

But they'd continue to whine about traffic...
Andrew,

You forgot, students might use it, that would upset the Divinity Road lot...
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: The Bombardier Primove system would work well in Oxford. Any tram system would have to be part of an integrated system for Oxfordshire though. There's no point if there has to be a mode change from car to electric at the city borders. The city centre also tends to be the focus of these plans, perhaps because that's what the city and county council leaders see most of as they gaze out of their windows. The largest employers aren't in the city centre though. The largest employers are closer to the ring-road at the Science Park, Business park, Mini, and through to the Churchill, Brookes, NoC and John Radcliffe. The ideal transport system would start out at Carterton/Witney, following the railway through to Oxford Central station round to Redbridge, the Science Park, Business Park & Mini. From there make its way to serve The Churchill, Brookes & NoC across to the JR, then up to the new Railway Station at Oxford Parkway station. When that is in place and revenue generating. Introduce the "nice to have" elements such as the service linking Botley with Barton through the city centre. It would take millions of journeys off the roads and I am very keen that such a scheme is implemented in Oxford. Sadly, unless a politically neutral organisation is set up to implement it, it will never happen. Whilst our local politicians may have visions - they simply can't implement a large project like this in the space of a political term nor do they have the project management skills. Local "activsts" would never allow it either for the follow reasons:- Catenary, outside the city centre, is bound to cause fear and alarm over views. (CPRE & Oxford Preservation?) Rails may be slippery underfoot and cause a slip hazard. Ladies heels may get caught in the recess. (Oxford Pedestrians Association?) Cyclists wheels may get trapped in the recess (Oxford Cyclist societies?). But they'd continue to whine about traffic...[/p][/quote]Andrew, You forgot, students might use it, that would upset the Divinity Road lot... Christine Hovis
  • Score: 5

11:17am Tue 25 Feb 14

Myron Blatz says...

I'm not a tram specialist, just someone who has used bus and train for many years, including in Europe. However, the cost and upheaval of installing trams on what they call 'mainline routes' would be prohibitive, and probably make about as much sense as the HS2 fast train service. This, when compared to eco-friendly buses and their far, far greater flexibility and adaptability in use and on routes - usually quoted as the main reasons for the demise of trams and trolley-buses in the mid-20th century. Nor are the 'eco-warriors' really safe in their general assumption about electric power being 'clean renewable' since it has to be generated. This means either coal or gas-powered, or that future generation's nightmare legacy of nuclear-power - as with Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and more recenty Fukushima in Japan. What. Oxford City Council could do, however, would be to somehow get rid of the Stahecoach/GoAhead duopoly across Oxford, and stop the parallel duplicity of bus services which fill the City's narrow and congested roads - especially the services along the Cowley and Iffley roads, and the ridiculous scenario of buses to Blackbird Leys every four minutes, and where 'market competition' doesn't mean cheaper fares across he board - especially for schoolkids and their parents.
I'm not a tram specialist, just someone who has used bus and train for many years, including in Europe. However, the cost and upheaval of installing trams on what they call 'mainline routes' would be prohibitive, and probably make about as much sense as the HS2 fast train service. This, when compared to eco-friendly buses and their far, far greater flexibility and adaptability in use and on routes - usually quoted as the main reasons for the demise of trams and trolley-buses in the mid-20th century. Nor are the 'eco-warriors' really safe in their general assumption about electric power being 'clean renewable' since it has to be generated. This means either coal or gas-powered, or that future generation's nightmare legacy of nuclear-power - as with Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and more recenty Fukushima in Japan. What. Oxford City Council could do, however, would be to somehow get rid of the Stahecoach/GoAhead duopoly across Oxford, and stop the parallel duplicity of bus services which fill the City's narrow and congested roads - especially the services along the Cowley and Iffley roads, and the ridiculous scenario of buses to Blackbird Leys every four minutes, and where 'market competition' doesn't mean cheaper fares across he board - especially for schoolkids and their parents. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 4

11:33am Tue 25 Feb 14

Dreaming Spires says...

Nice idea. Similar proposals have come along every few years for as long as I can remember - let's actually do it this time!
Nice idea. Similar proposals have come along every few years for as long as I can remember - let's actually do it this time! Dreaming Spires
  • Score: 3

11:45am Tue 25 Feb 14

andy1975 says...

I've always thought trams would be great in Oxford.
I've always thought trams would be great in Oxford. andy1975
  • Score: 7

1:03pm Tue 25 Feb 14

King Joke says...

You're almost there on routing Andrew - running along the Fairford branch as far as Carterton, and along the Cowley branch make sense. Journey times to the hospitals however would be too long via this route and buses do the job just as well.

The most intensive bus corridor in the city is the Cowley Rd out to BBL, and it is this which would be the most viable as a 'Line 2'.
You're almost there on routing Andrew - running along the Fairford branch as far as Carterton, and along the Cowley branch make sense. Journey times to the hospitals however would be too long via this route and buses do the job just as well. The most intensive bus corridor in the city is the Cowley Rd out to BBL, and it is this which would be the most viable as a 'Line 2'. King Joke
  • Score: 3

1:22pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Red Robbo 2 says...

Oh dear, another article written by someone who knows nothing about the subject at hand... Two ideas are being conflated here. Firstly the electric buses in Milton Keynes (which have nothing whatsoever with trams - remember when we had electric buses in Oxford in the '90s?), and a (traditional) tram system

(Ed. please note we do NOT call them trolleys in the UK; this means something entirely different as the city of Leeds is about to demonstrate.)

Yes, trams are a good idea. Look at Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and so on. A line from Carterton/Witney across the city to Cowley/Horspath/Whea
tley would be an ideal solution to the A40 problem using the former Fairford and Thame lines with on street running along the Eynsham bypass and in Oxford. It would use modern "tram trains" seen in much of Europe.

Unfortunately there are two major problems:

1. The "we've never done it like that before brigade" whose only interest is in themselves and the value of their properties, and;
2. The fact that neither the city council or the county council have a clue as to how to organise something like this. There is a cast iron guarantee that it will be another financial spending fiasco like the guided busway (remember that?) or never come to fruition like Grove station or Kidlington station (in the county transport plan for 20+ years).

Let's also correct are few errors in the article too:

1. The idea of running trams without an overhead catenary is nothing new. Trams in the centre of London (up to 1952) were always powered using a "slot in the road" system of sleds.
2. Tram trains don't have to run on electricity all the time. Those is Kassel in Germany use overhead electric in the city and diesel power on unelectrified rural lines outside.
3. You only have to look at Manchester's tram system or Nexus in Newcastle to see that it is entirely possible to use to run trams over former/existing "heavy" rail routes without great expense. Network Rail is shortly to convert an existing line from Sheffield to Rotherham for use by modern tram trains as a test bed for other routes on which "heavy rail" trains are uneconomic.

Bring on the trams but someone in charge who knows what they are talking about!
Oh dear, another article written by someone who knows nothing about the subject at hand... Two ideas are being conflated here. Firstly the electric buses in Milton Keynes (which have nothing whatsoever with trams - remember when we had electric buses in Oxford in the '90s?), and a (traditional) tram system (Ed. please note we do NOT call them trolleys in the UK; this means something entirely different as the city of Leeds is about to demonstrate.) Yes, trams are a good idea. Look at Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and so on. A line from Carterton/Witney across the city to Cowley/Horspath/Whea tley would be an ideal solution to the A40 problem using the former Fairford and Thame lines with on street running along the Eynsham bypass and in Oxford. It would use modern "tram trains" seen in much of Europe. Unfortunately there are two major problems: 1. The "we've never done it like that before brigade" whose only interest is in themselves and the value of their properties, and; 2. The fact that neither the city council or the county council have a clue as to how to organise something like this. There is a cast iron guarantee that it will be another financial spending fiasco like the guided busway (remember that?) or never come to fruition like Grove station or Kidlington station (in the county transport plan for 20+ years). Let's also correct are few errors in the article too: 1. The idea of running trams without an overhead catenary is nothing new. Trams in the centre of London (up to 1952) were always powered using a "slot in the road" system of sleds. 2. Tram trains don't have to run on electricity all the time. Those is Kassel in Germany use overhead electric in the city and diesel power on unelectrified rural lines outside. 3. You only have to look at Manchester's tram system or Nexus in Newcastle to see that it is entirely possible to use to run trams over former/existing "heavy" rail routes without great expense. Network Rail is shortly to convert an existing line from Sheffield to Rotherham for use by modern tram trains as a test bed for other routes on which "heavy rail" trains are uneconomic. Bring on the trams but someone in charge who knows what they are talking about! Red Robbo 2
  • Score: 1

2:43pm Tue 25 Feb 14

EMBOX2 says...

Good idea but not as Bob Price wants.

Instead of going to Milton Keynes, go to Bordeaux (yes it'd be a nice jolly, OxCityC) and see how they've done it. Roads there are quite like Oxford, traffic wise.

No unsightly wires, rails are powered as the tram runs over them in sections. I would love to see the buses removed/reduced though it does beg the question about competition.

Also no information on who pays for all this? The bus (tram) companies? Nope, it'd be the taxpayer. Tough one to call, but anything to reduce all the buses in Oxford!
Good idea but not as Bob Price wants. Instead of going to Milton Keynes, go to Bordeaux (yes it'd be a nice jolly, OxCityC) and see how they've done it. Roads there are quite like Oxford, traffic wise. No unsightly wires, rails are powered as the tram runs over them in sections. I would love to see the buses removed/reduced though it does beg the question about competition. Also no information on who pays for all this? The bus (tram) companies? Nope, it'd be the taxpayer. Tough one to call, but anything to reduce all the buses in Oxford! EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Tue 25 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Line 1 - Carterton-Cowley - wouldn't reduce hardly any buses in Oxford, maybe a few peak-time S1/S2s. Business would be a mix of new to public transport and new to travel at all on this flow.

It's only when you start to replace the very intensive bus corridors with tram routes that you start to reduce bus numbers. Cowley Rd, London Rd, Ban Rd etc. This would take decades!
Line 1 - Carterton-Cowley - wouldn't reduce hardly any buses in Oxford, maybe a few peak-time S1/S2s. Business would be a mix of new to public transport and new to travel at all on this flow. It's only when you start to replace the very intensive bus corridors with tram routes that you start to reduce bus numbers. Cowley Rd, London Rd, Ban Rd etc. This would take decades! King Joke
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bicester retired says...

The roads/streets in Oxford city are too narrow and busy for additional tram traffic. The trams are slow and occupy large areas on the roads/streets. They will just increase congestion on the already very busy roads/streets. To be practical, it seems that a combination of underground trains for the busy central areas and above ground light rail trains for the outskirt areas may be a solution. The real concern is who will make this kind of investment for a city which hates modernisation.
The roads/streets in Oxford city are too narrow and busy for additional tram traffic. The trams are slow and occupy large areas on the roads/streets. They will just increase congestion on the already very busy roads/streets. To be practical, it seems that a combination of underground trains for the busy central areas and above ground light rail trains for the outskirt areas may be a solution. The real concern is who will make this kind of investment for a city which hates modernisation. Bicester retired
  • Score: 1

4:07pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bon Rurgundy says...

If trams are any good why did they get rid of them over a hundred years ago? I think the Councillor needs to lay off the wacky baccy for a bit.
If trams are any good why did they get rid of them over a hundred years ago? I think the Councillor needs to lay off the wacky baccy for a bit. Bon Rurgundy
  • Score: -7

4:14pm Tue 25 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Yes Ron - that's why Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Edinburgh, along with many large French cities have put them back in, and why Blackpool and cities across the Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands never took them out in the first place. The pathetic 'not invented here' mentality exhibted by people like you holds this country back.

I don't know what it's got to do with Bob Price though, he is a City Councillor and the City is not the transport authority, that's the County.
Yes Ron - that's why Sheffield, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Edinburgh, along with many large French cities have put them back in, and why Blackpool and cities across the Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands never took them out in the first place. The pathetic 'not invented here' mentality exhibted by people like you holds this country back. I don't know what it's got to do with Bob Price though, he is a City Councillor and the City is not the transport authority, that's the County. King Joke
  • Score: 8

4:30pm Tue 25 Feb 14

OxfordResident says...

Cities like Sheffield and Birmingham, together with a large number of European cities were bombed during the war, so have rebuilt with wider roads that can deal with multi-use.
Older, un redeveloped cities like Oxford are more problematic. As an example Edinburgh started their tram system in 2003 with a cost of £350million. Build started in 2007 and was due to be complete and all open in 2011. It is still not open in any form, the first stage is only just into testing - and is also not the full line originally planned, The second stage has been indefinately postponed. And a third proposed line shelved. Estimated costs are now over £1billion - and that isn't actually going to cover what was originally planned for a third of the cost.
Cities like Sheffield and Birmingham, together with a large number of European cities were bombed during the war, so have rebuilt with wider roads that can deal with multi-use. Older, un redeveloped cities like Oxford are more problematic. As an example Edinburgh started their tram system in 2003 with a cost of £350million. Build started in 2007 and was due to be complete and all open in 2011. It is still not open in any form, the first stage is only just into testing - and is also not the full line originally planned, The second stage has been indefinately postponed. And a third proposed line shelved. Estimated costs are now over £1billion - and that isn't actually going to cover what was originally planned for a third of the cost. OxfordResident
  • Score: 2

4:42pm Tue 25 Feb 14

carli says...

What a stupid idea...surely the money could be better spent!!!! Do we really need a tram system???
What a stupid idea...surely the money could be better spent!!!! Do we really need a tram system??? carli
  • Score: -8

5:03pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Patrick, Devon says...

As I said on the other thread on this, a tunnel from the rail station to the east of the city centre is comparable to what historically constrained continental cities are doing. This, with routes alongside the rail corridoors could run up to Headington and Thornhill and form a rapid transit spine route with the potential for branches to be added.
As I said on the other thread on this, a tunnel from the rail station to the east of the city centre is comparable to what historically constrained continental cities are doing. This, with routes alongside the rail corridoors could run up to Headington and Thornhill and form a rapid transit spine route with the potential for branches to be added. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Tue 25 Feb 14

JCBOxford says...

What about a mini trainin central Oxford for tourists and shoppers - like at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Aus? It would take up less space than trams and not spoil the view of the lovely buildings in Oxford.
What about a mini trainin central Oxford for tourists and shoppers - like at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Aus? It would take up less space than trams and not spoil the view of the lovely buildings in Oxford. JCBOxford
  • Score: -5

5:34pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bicester retired says...

JCBOxford wrote:
What about a mini trainin central Oxford for tourists and shoppers - like at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Aus? It would take up less space than trams and not spoil the view of the lovely buildings in Oxford.
This won't reduce buses running through Oxford city centre as buses come from various outside locations to central Oxford. The transport system has to be fast and should not take up much additional space on the roads and streets. Otherwise, it will only make the situation worse.
[quote][p][bold]JCBOxford[/bold] wrote: What about a mini trainin central Oxford for tourists and shoppers - like at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Aus? It would take up less space than trams and not spoil the view of the lovely buildings in Oxford.[/p][/quote]This won't reduce buses running through Oxford city centre as buses come from various outside locations to central Oxford. The transport system has to be fast and should not take up much additional space on the roads and streets. Otherwise, it will only make the situation worse. Bicester retired
  • Score: 5

6:08pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

OxfordResident wrote:
Cities like Sheffield and Birmingham, together with a large number of European cities were bombed during the war, so have rebuilt with wider roads that can deal with multi-use.
Older, un redeveloped cities like Oxford are more problematic. As an example Edinburgh started their tram system in 2003 with a cost of £350million. Build started in 2007 and was due to be complete and all open in 2011. It is still not open in any form, the first stage is only just into testing - and is also not the full line originally planned, The second stage has been indefinately postponed. And a third proposed line shelved. Estimated costs are now over £1billion - and that isn't actually going to cover what was originally planned for a third of the cost.
That's because all the good Scottish Project Managers work on major projects around the world.

TIE was just left with the dregs that were willing to work with the local Labour council.

TIE made a complete mess of the reconstruction of the Alloa line too, Network Rail are having to rebuild it...
[quote][p][bold]OxfordResident[/bold] wrote: Cities like Sheffield and Birmingham, together with a large number of European cities were bombed during the war, so have rebuilt with wider roads that can deal with multi-use. Older, un redeveloped cities like Oxford are more problematic. As an example Edinburgh started their tram system in 2003 with a cost of £350million. Build started in 2007 and was due to be complete and all open in 2011. It is still not open in any form, the first stage is only just into testing - and is also not the full line originally planned, The second stage has been indefinately postponed. And a third proposed line shelved. Estimated costs are now over £1billion - and that isn't actually going to cover what was originally planned for a third of the cost.[/p][/quote]That's because all the good Scottish Project Managers work on major projects around the world. TIE was just left with the dregs that were willing to work with the local Labour council. TIE made a complete mess of the reconstruction of the Alloa line too, Network Rail are having to rebuild it... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -9

8:24pm Tue 25 Feb 14

oafie says...

Trams would be lovely yes and so would living in a picture postcard world........Milton Keynes-roads-traffic planned for!

Oxford-roads-stupidl
y overcrowded and congested already. We can't even get the cyclists here to obey simple rules of the road, dear lord it would be chaos!
Trams would be lovely yes and so would living in a picture postcard world........Milton Keynes-roads-traffic planned for! Oxford-roads-stupidl y overcrowded and congested already. We can't even get the cyclists here to obey simple rules of the road, dear lord it would be chaos! oafie
  • Score: -2

8:37pm Tue 25 Feb 14

faatmaan says...

if there is insufficient space on the central roads in Oxford for cycles to co-exist with motorised transport, something has to give, it would be cars and this in a way could signal the end of the commerciality of Oxford, with offices and shops unable to be serviced for deliveries, collections and maintenance vehicles, unless his is the end game I can see nothing but a fruitless attempt to impose somebodies rose tinted vision on Oxford.
if there is insufficient space on the central roads in Oxford for cycles to co-exist with motorised transport, something has to give, it would be cars and this in a way could signal the end of the commerciality of Oxford, with offices and shops unable to be serviced for deliveries, collections and maintenance vehicles, unless his is the end game I can see nothing but a fruitless attempt to impose somebodies rose tinted vision on Oxford. faatmaan
  • Score: -1

7:16am Wed 26 Feb 14

King Joke says...

There is no doubt Edinburgh stuffed up their project, by screwing their contractor until the contractor walked off the job. This does not mean trams a are a bad idea, as NOttingham, Manchester and others have made an excellent job of it.
There is no doubt Edinburgh stuffed up their project, by screwing their contractor until the contractor walked off the job. This does not mean trams a are a bad idea, as NOttingham, Manchester and others have made an excellent job of it. King Joke
  • Score: 6

8:33am Wed 26 Feb 14

the wizard says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
The Bombardier Primove system would work well in Oxford.

Any tram system would have to be part of an integrated system for Oxfordshire though. There's no point if there has to be a mode change from car to electric at the city borders.

The city centre also tends to be the focus of these plans, perhaps because that's what the city and county council leaders see most of as they gaze out of their windows.

The largest employers aren't in the city centre though. The largest employers are closer to the ring-road at the Science Park, Business park, Mini, and through to the Churchill, Brookes, NoC and John Radcliffe.

The ideal transport system would start out at Carterton/Witney, following the railway through to Oxford Central station round to Redbridge, the Science Park, Business Park & Mini. From there make its way to serve The Churchill, Brookes & NoC across to the JR, then up to the new Railway Station at Oxford Parkway station.

When that is in place and revenue generating. Introduce the "nice to have" elements such as the service linking Botley with Barton through the city centre.

It would take millions of journeys off the roads and I am very keen that such a scheme is implemented in Oxford.

Sadly, unless a politically neutral organisation is set up to implement it, it will never happen. Whilst our local politicians may have visions - they simply can't implement a large project like this in the space of a political term nor do they have the project management skills.

Local "activsts" would never allow it either for the follow reasons:-

Catenary, outside the city centre, is bound to cause fear and alarm over views. (CPRE & Oxford Preservation?)
Rails may be slippery underfoot and cause a slip hazard. Ladies heels may get caught in the recess. (Oxford Pedestrians Association?)
Cyclists wheels may get trapped in the recess (Oxford Cyclist societies?).

But they'd continue to whine about traffic...
Have you seen this,admittedly its a bigger area but when you encompass the Witney/ Abingdon/Kidlington scenerios then its about the same roughly speaking,

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-wales-south
-east-wales-26278278


As goes the ladies heels and bikes, well they manage in Nottingham and everywhere else, its all about using your head.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: The Bombardier Primove system would work well in Oxford. Any tram system would have to be part of an integrated system for Oxfordshire though. There's no point if there has to be a mode change from car to electric at the city borders. The city centre also tends to be the focus of these plans, perhaps because that's what the city and county council leaders see most of as they gaze out of their windows. The largest employers aren't in the city centre though. The largest employers are closer to the ring-road at the Science Park, Business park, Mini, and through to the Churchill, Brookes, NoC and John Radcliffe. The ideal transport system would start out at Carterton/Witney, following the railway through to Oxford Central station round to Redbridge, the Science Park, Business Park & Mini. From there make its way to serve The Churchill, Brookes & NoC across to the JR, then up to the new Railway Station at Oxford Parkway station. When that is in place and revenue generating. Introduce the "nice to have" elements such as the service linking Botley with Barton through the city centre. It would take millions of journeys off the roads and I am very keen that such a scheme is implemented in Oxford. Sadly, unless a politically neutral organisation is set up to implement it, it will never happen. Whilst our local politicians may have visions - they simply can't implement a large project like this in the space of a political term nor do they have the project management skills. Local "activsts" would never allow it either for the follow reasons:- Catenary, outside the city centre, is bound to cause fear and alarm over views. (CPRE & Oxford Preservation?) Rails may be slippery underfoot and cause a slip hazard. Ladies heels may get caught in the recess. (Oxford Pedestrians Association?) Cyclists wheels may get trapped in the recess (Oxford Cyclist societies?). But they'd continue to whine about traffic...[/p][/quote]Have you seen this,admittedly its a bigger area but when you encompass the Witney/ Abingdon/Kidlington scenerios then its about the same roughly speaking, http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-wales-south -east-wales-26278278 As goes the ladies heels and bikes, well they manage in Nottingham and everywhere else, its all about using your head. the wizard
  • Score: 3

8:37am Wed 26 Feb 14

King Joke says...

What about gentlemen's heels? Maybe that's what Andrew is concerned about?
What about gentlemen's heels? Maybe that's what Andrew is concerned about? King Joke
  • Score: -1

9:25am Wed 26 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

King Joke wrote:
What about gentlemen's heels? Maybe that's what Andrew is concerned about?
It's bad enough, at 6'4", living in a city that's designed for those who are vertically challenged.

Simply wearing boots instead of brogues can be the difference between fitting through a doorway and having to duck.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: What about gentlemen's heels? Maybe that's what Andrew is concerned about?[/p][/quote]It's bad enough, at 6'4", living in a city that's designed for those who are vertically challenged. Simply wearing boots instead of brogues can be the difference between fitting through a doorway and having to duck. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -8

2:30pm Wed 26 Feb 14

wobbler says...

The issue with Oxford and vehicles is not just a City Centre problem. In fact it's probably more to do with travelling into the boundaries rather than much farther beyond. We have hybrid vehicles that switch from traditional fuel to electric as required, this has been stated. Just make sure that all vehicles entering the "no pollution zone" are this type and switch to battery on entry. Trams or any kind of dedicated mass transport will not make the journey to work easier or faster unless other road vehicles are removed. Stuck in a tram behind a car is the same no matter what fuel the tram runs on. From a localised pollution point of view, electric vehicles do make sense. Let's not spend money, mine and yours on expensive consultant fees and reports when the obvious is staring at us head on. If you want fast movement of commuters using trams then ban all other vehicles (except emergency) from the areas that the trams run. If you want clean air, ban traditionally engined vehicles.
The issue with Oxford and vehicles is not just a City Centre problem. In fact it's probably more to do with travelling into the boundaries rather than much farther beyond. We have hybrid vehicles that switch from traditional fuel to electric as required, this has been stated. Just make sure that all vehicles entering the "no pollution zone" are this type and switch to battery on entry. Trams or any kind of dedicated mass transport will not make the journey to work easier or faster unless other road vehicles are removed. Stuck in a tram behind a car is the same no matter what fuel the tram runs on. From a localised pollution point of view, electric vehicles do make sense. Let's not spend money, mine and yours on expensive consultant fees and reports when the obvious is staring at us head on. If you want fast movement of commuters using trams then ban all other vehicles (except emergency) from the areas that the trams run. If you want clean air, ban traditionally engined vehicles. wobbler
  • Score: 3

10:42pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Hugh Jaeger says...

Oxford's buses are so successful that the city now needs public transport with higher capacity and lower emissions. That means modern European trams as used in Birmingham, Croydon, Manchester and Nottingham and now being introduced in Blackpool and Edinburgh. But is that what Cllr Price proposes?

Cllr Price's comments are ominous. "Mr Price has in mind a vehicle that would be a hybrid of a bus and a tram... Oxford’s system could conceivably run on rails, it would probably be unlike most European trams – and broadly be like the cable cars in San Francisco... I don’t think it would work over long distances, so it is something which is regarded very much for a city-centre type operation... It would use the technology that Milton Keynes is using but perhaps look more like a tram... It would be something smaller ."

What Cllr Price is proposing is not clear, but he is sure it is not proper tram, not as big as proper trams and would not venture out of the city centre. San Francisco cable cars are narrow gauge, over a century old, have a top speed of less than 10 mph and each car has only 29 seats. Cllr Price's silly analogy has led the Oxford Mail to create an absurd image of an impractical Victorian museum piece.

Cllr Price implies that Oxford's 84-seat double-deck buses would be expelled from the few city centre streets that they still serve, two or three of his little "Bob-mobiles" would be needed to replace each bus, and at the edge of the city centre passengers would have to change to a low-speed, low-capacity operation more resembling a tourist novelty than serious passenger transport.

Any public transport in central Oxford must also run to and from the main suburbs, extend to Kidlington and potentially Witney and Abingdon, and carry more people than the buses it replaces. That means real trams, which are standard gauge, articulated, carry 200–300 people, have great acceleration and, on longer runs such as to Witney or Abingdon, could do 50 mph.

Real trams are what half a dozen British cities have wisely bought and are successfully operating. Oxford needs and deserves the same.
Oxford's buses are so successful that the city now needs public transport with higher capacity and lower emissions. That means modern European trams as used in Birmingham, Croydon, Manchester and Nottingham and now being introduced in Blackpool and Edinburgh. But is that what Cllr Price proposes? Cllr Price's comments are ominous. "Mr Price has in mind a vehicle that would be a hybrid of a bus and a tram... Oxford’s system could conceivably run on rails, it would probably be unlike most European trams – and broadly be like the cable cars in San Francisco... I don’t think it would work over long distances, so it is something which is regarded very much for a city-centre type operation... It would use the technology that Milton Keynes is using but perhaps look more like a tram... It would be something smaller [than buses]." What Cllr Price is proposing is not clear, but he is sure it is not proper tram, not as big as proper trams and would not venture out of the city centre. San Francisco cable cars are narrow gauge, over a century old, have a top speed of less than 10 mph and each car has only 29 seats. Cllr Price's silly analogy has led the Oxford Mail to create an absurd image of an impractical Victorian museum piece. Cllr Price implies that Oxford's 84-seat double-deck buses would be expelled from the few city centre streets that they still serve, two or three of his little "Bob-mobiles" would be needed to replace each bus, and at the edge of the city centre passengers would have to change to a low-speed, low-capacity operation more resembling a tourist novelty than serious passenger transport. Any public transport in central Oxford must also run to and from the main suburbs, extend to Kidlington and potentially Witney and Abingdon, and carry more people than the buses it replaces. That means real trams, which are standard gauge, articulated, carry 200–300 people, have great acceleration and, on longer runs such as to Witney or Abingdon, could do 50 mph. Real trams are what half a dozen British cities have wisely bought and are successfully operating. Oxford needs and deserves the same. Hugh Jaeger
  • Score: 3

12:15pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Manor Born says...

Has anyone from the council spoken to the councillors or the people of Edinburgh? The introduction of trams there has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster both economically and practically.
Has anyone from the council spoken to the councillors or the people of Edinburgh? The introduction of trams there has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster both economically and practically. Manor Born
  • Score: -2

2:10pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Hugh Jaeger says...

King Joke has already explained that restoring trams to Edinburgh was a perfectly sound idea, marred only by inept project management by its city council. Edinburgh's first tram line is now fully running on test and will soon open to passengers.

News media love depressing us with bad news and hate cheering us up with good news. That's why national news madia say almost nothing about tramways quietly getting on with a good job in Birmingham and Croydon, being extended enormously in Manchester and Nottingham and a tram-train route being planned to add to the Sheffield tram network.

Too many reporters and editors stick to a "Little Englander" agenda that ignores the hundreds of European cities that thrive thanks to trams, the dozens of European cities that are extending tram networks or opening new ones, and the fact that trams are better than buses for fitting into narrow Medieval city streets.

Did all the Brits with a "can-do" attitude emigrate in the days of Empire to create the USA and the Dominions? Did they leave behind only people with a "can't do" attitude that can only parrot bad reasons not to improve our economy and environment?

Oxford deserves better. Oxford deserves proper trams.
http://www.edinburgh
trams.com/
King Joke has already explained that restoring trams to Edinburgh was a perfectly sound idea, marred only by inept project management by its city council. Edinburgh's first tram line is now fully running on test and will soon open to passengers. News media love depressing us with bad news and hate cheering us up with good news. That's why national news madia say almost nothing about tramways quietly getting on with a good job in Birmingham and Croydon, being extended enormously in Manchester and Nottingham and a tram-train route being planned to add to the Sheffield tram network. Too many reporters and editors stick to a "Little Englander" agenda that ignores the hundreds of European cities that thrive thanks to trams, the dozens of European cities that are extending tram networks or opening new ones, and the fact that trams are better than buses for fitting into narrow Medieval city streets. Did all the Brits with a "can-do" attitude emigrate in the days of Empire to create the USA and the Dominions? Did they leave behind only people with a "can't do" attitude that can only parrot bad reasons not to improve our economy and environment? Oxford deserves better. Oxford deserves proper trams. http://www.edinburgh trams.com/ Hugh Jaeger
  • Score: 4

2:12pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Hugh Jaeger says...

King Joke has already explained that restoring trams to Edinburgh was a perfectly sound idea, marred only by inept project management by its city council. Edinburgh's first tram line is now fully running on test and will soon open to passengers.

News media love spreading bad news and hate telling good news. That's why national news media say almost nothing about tramways quietly getting on with a good job in Birmingham and Croydon, being extended enormously in Manchester and Nottingham and a tram-train route being planned to extend the Sheffield tram network.

Too many reporters and editors stick to a negative "Little-Englander" agenda that ignores the hundreds of European cities that thrive thanks to trams, the dozens of European cities that are extending tram networks or opening new ones, and the fact that trams are better than buses for fitting into narrow Medieval city streets.

Did all the Brits with a "can-do" attitude emigrate in the days of Empire to create the USA and the Dominions? Did they leave behind only people with a "can't do" attitude who only parrot bad reasons not to improve our economy and environment?

Oxford deserves better. Oxford deserves proper trams.
http://www.edinburgh
trams.com/
King Joke has already explained that restoring trams to Edinburgh was a perfectly sound idea, marred only by inept project management by its city council. Edinburgh's first tram line is now fully running on test and will soon open to passengers. News media love spreading bad news and hate telling good news. That's why national news media say almost nothing about tramways quietly getting on with a good job in Birmingham and Croydon, being extended enormously in Manchester and Nottingham and a tram-train route being planned to extend the Sheffield tram network. Too many reporters and editors stick to a negative "Little-Englander" agenda that ignores the hundreds of European cities that thrive thanks to trams, the dozens of European cities that are extending tram networks or opening new ones, and the fact that trams are better than buses for fitting into narrow Medieval city streets. Did all the Brits with a "can-do" attitude emigrate in the days of Empire to create the USA and the Dominions? Did they leave behind only people with a "can't do" attitude who only parrot bad reasons not to improve our economy and environment? Oxford deserves better. Oxford deserves proper trams. http://www.edinburgh trams.com/ Hugh Jaeger
  • Score: 3

6:19pm Fri 28 Feb 14

mytaxes says...

Hugh Jaeger wrote:
King Joke has already explained that restoring trams to Edinburgh was a perfectly sound idea, marred only by inept project management by its city council. Edinburgh's first tram line is now fully running on test and will soon open to passengers.

News media love spreading bad news and hate telling good news. That's why national news media say almost nothing about tramways quietly getting on with a good job in Birmingham and Croydon, being extended enormously in Manchester and Nottingham and a tram-train route being planned to extend the Sheffield tram network.

Too many reporters and editors stick to a negative "Little-England
er" agenda that ignores the hundreds of European cities that thrive thanks to trams, the dozens of European cities that are extending tram networks or opening new ones, and the fact that trams are better than buses for fitting into narrow Medieval city streets.

Did all the Brits with a "can-do" attitude emigrate in the days of Empire to create the USA and the Dominions? Did they leave behind only people with a "can't do" attitude who only parrot bad reasons not to improve our economy and environment?

Oxford deserves better. Oxford deserves proper trams.
http://www.edinburgh

trams.com/
Try asking some residents of Edinburgh how they feel about the cost and disruption, Many have stayed away from the city centre as it has been so bad. If the city council was to get involved with it here God help us.
[quote][p][bold]Hugh Jaeger[/bold] wrote: King Joke has already explained that restoring trams to Edinburgh was a perfectly sound idea, marred only by inept project management by its city council. Edinburgh's first tram line is now fully running on test and will soon open to passengers. News media love spreading bad news and hate telling good news. That's why national news media say almost nothing about tramways quietly getting on with a good job in Birmingham and Croydon, being extended enormously in Manchester and Nottingham and a tram-train route being planned to extend the Sheffield tram network. Too many reporters and editors stick to a negative "Little-England er" agenda that ignores the hundreds of European cities that thrive thanks to trams, the dozens of European cities that are extending tram networks or opening new ones, and the fact that trams are better than buses for fitting into narrow Medieval city streets. Did all the Brits with a "can-do" attitude emigrate in the days of Empire to create the USA and the Dominions? Did they leave behind only people with a "can't do" attitude who only parrot bad reasons not to improve our economy and environment? Oxford deserves better. Oxford deserves proper trams. http://www.edinburgh trams.com/[/p][/quote]Try asking some residents of Edinburgh how they feel about the cost and disruption, Many have stayed away from the city centre as it has been so bad. If the city council was to get involved with it here God help us. mytaxes
  • Score: -3

6:53pm Fri 28 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Mytaxes, try asking the residents of Manchester, Nottingham or Grenoble how they'd do without their trams.
Mytaxes, try asking the residents of Manchester, Nottingham or Grenoble how they'd do without their trams. King Joke
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree