Bus firms ask to be let back into traffic-free Cornmarket

Oxford Pedestrians Association chairwoman Sushila Dhall

Oxford Pedestrians Association chairwoman Sushila Dhall

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

CORNMARKET in Oxford should be reopened to some buses, two operators say.

Stagecoach Oxfordshire and Oxford Bus Company have suggested transport officials consider reopening Cornmarket to buses because of the Westgate centre redevelopment.

The long-awaited upgrade brings with it the prospect of a fully-pedestrianised Queen Street, seen by developer Westgate Oxford Alliance as a key element of the scheme.

That would see a number of bus stops relocated to Castle Street, prompting concerns buses will clog the road and suffer delays.

Sara Fuge, development manager for Westgate Oxford Alliance, which is behind the Westgate scheme, said: “Redirecting buses away from Queen Street will help to create a more pedestrian-friendly and safer environment for a key shopping street at the heart of the city.”

But Oxford Pedestrians Association chairwoman Sushila Dhall said the current arrangement allowing some buses down the busy steet outside the Westgate Shopping Centre did not need to be changed.

Ms Dhall told the Oxford Mail: “We would be very upset if the gains made over the years by pedestrianising Cornmarket were reversed. It is the only completely pedestrianised street in the city centre.

“But we are happy with what has been done to Queen Street already. We think that with some buses on it a balance has been struck that works for everybody.

“We see the difficulties bus companies are facing and were disappointed that the proposals for Westgate did not include more routes for buses through the development.”

The county council is working on a draft transport plan for the city centre and has been discussing proposals with bus companies, as well as Westgate Oxford Alliance.

This week Stagecoach Oxfordshire managing director Martin Sutton called for some buses to be allowed down Cornmarket.

He said: “If we are serious about attractive cross-city transport links we should consider a limited number of buses running between the north and south via Cornmarket and St Aldates and east and west via High Street and Queen Street.”

Phil Southall, operations director for Oxford Bus Company, urged “radical thinking” to strike a balance between direct bus links and pedestrian areas.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said the authority was not considering the measure but would “listen to all suggestions that could help improve the city centre and access to it”.

Cornmarket was pedestrianised in 1999 as part of a major shake-up of Oxford’s traffic system that also saw High Street closed to traffic.

The £2.7m scheme saw an asphalt surface with York stone pavements installed.

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Comments (14)

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8:29am Fri 22 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

perhaps the buses should pull out of the town centre completely - lets say terminate at The county Courts in the south, Botley in the west and Cowley Rd in east? if that's what ms dhall thinks? then we will see what the "Pedesterians alliance" makes of all the extra walking between connections they will need to make!
perhaps the buses should pull out of the town centre completely - lets say terminate at The county Courts in the south, Botley in the west and Cowley Rd in east? if that's what ms dhall thinks? then we will see what the "Pedesterians alliance" makes of all the extra walking between connections they will need to make! yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 6

8:36am Fri 22 Aug 14

norton manor says...

for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law
for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law norton manor
  • Score: 12

8:56am Fri 22 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

norton manor wrote:
for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law
It's just too crowded now to even consider re-opening to buses.

If through-services are really needed, then it's time to start digging and build a massive tunnel beneath Cornmarket.

If it can be done in Seattle, it can be done in Oxford too.
[quote][p][bold]norton manor[/bold] wrote: for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law[/p][/quote]It's just too crowded now to even consider re-opening to buses. If through-services are really needed, then it's time to start digging and build a massive tunnel beneath Cornmarket. If it can be done in Seattle, it can be done in Oxford too. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 13

10:14am Fri 22 Aug 14

docs says...

"Oxford Pedestrians Association" (sic) Is that even a thing?
"Oxford Pedestrians Association" (sic) Is that even a thing? docs
  • Score: 3

10:44am Fri 22 Aug 14

Canismajoris says...

Oxford will be at gridlock soon (if no already) with all the new housing proposed.
What is needed is an underground tube system, chances of happening 0%.
Oxford will be at gridlock soon (if no already) with all the new housing proposed. What is needed is an underground tube system, chances of happening 0%. Canismajoris
  • Score: 4

11:03am Fri 22 Aug 14

GaryOxford says...

docs wrote:
"Oxford Pedestrians Association" (sic) Is that even a thing?
I believe so, you can see a photo of all of the members at the top of the article.
[quote][p][bold]docs[/bold] wrote: "Oxford Pedestrians Association" (sic) Is that even a thing?[/p][/quote]I believe so, you can see a photo of all of the members at the top of the article. GaryOxford
  • Score: 4

11:15am Fri 22 Aug 14

norton manor says...

as an after thought perhaps the City and County Councils should stand up against the bully boys of stage coach and oxford bus companies
as an after thought perhaps the City and County Councils should stand up against the bully boys of stage coach and oxford bus companies norton manor
  • Score: 6

11:33am Fri 22 Aug 14

Patrick, Devon says...

Its not just Seattle. Many crowded historic cities in Europe are also tunnelling. I would suggest a tram-train one from the station to the science area.
Its not just Seattle. Many crowded historic cities in Europe are also tunnelling. I would suggest a tram-train one from the station to the science area. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: 4

1:13pm Fri 22 Aug 14

sablond oxford says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
perhaps the buses should pull out of the town centre completely - lets say terminate at The county Courts in the south, Botley in the west and Cowley Rd in east? if that's what ms dhall thinks? then we will see what the "Pedesterians alliance" makes of all the extra walking between connections they will need to make!
"Oxford Pedestrians Association chairwoman Sushila Dhall said the current arrangement allowing some buses down the busy steet outside the Westgate Shopping Centre did not need to be changed." she doesn't want to stop the buses in town completely its Sara Fuge, development manager for Westgate Oxford Alliance, that wants to get rid of them.
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: perhaps the buses should pull out of the town centre completely - lets say terminate at The county Courts in the south, Botley in the west and Cowley Rd in east? if that's what ms dhall thinks? then we will see what the "Pedesterians alliance" makes of all the extra walking between connections they will need to make![/p][/quote]"Oxford Pedestrians Association chairwoman Sushila Dhall said the current arrangement allowing some buses down the busy steet outside the Westgate Shopping Centre did not need to be changed." she doesn't want to stop the buses in town completely its Sara Fuge, development manager for Westgate Oxford Alliance, that wants to get rid of them. sablond oxford
  • Score: 4

1:17pm Fri 22 Aug 14

sablond oxford says...

norton manor wrote:
for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law
I totally agree with you norton manor. when coming into work for 9am Cornmarket is full of lorries and bikes going all over the place (road and path) constantly feel that I'm taking my life in my hands walking down there. There is NEVER any police enforcing the law.
[quote][p][bold]norton manor[/bold] wrote: for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law[/p][/quote]I totally agree with you norton manor. when coming into work for 9am Cornmarket is full of lorries and bikes going all over the place (road and path) constantly feel that I'm taking my life in my hands walking down there. There is NEVER any police enforcing the law. sablond oxford
  • Score: 1

1:31pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Paul0 says...

Someone remind me how much we spent resurfacing Cornmarket for pedestrianisation. TWICE. And now we want to re-open it to traffic?!
Someone remind me how much we spent resurfacing Cornmarket for pedestrianisation. TWICE. And now we want to re-open it to traffic?! Paul0
  • Score: 8

4:41pm Fri 22 Aug 14

xenarthra says...

sablond oxford wrote:
norton manor wrote:
for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law
I totally agree with you norton manor. when coming into work for 9am Cornmarket is full of lorries and bikes going all over the place (road and path) constantly feel that I'm taking my life in my hands walking down there. There is NEVER any police enforcing the law.
Perhaps that's because the restrictions only apply from 10 am to 6 pm?! D'Oh!
[quote][p][bold]sablond oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]norton manor[/bold] wrote: for once I must completely agree with Sushila. Cornmarket should not reopened to buses. already tooo many unauthorised vehicles use the street as a cut through and no-one in authority does anything about it. constantly lorries/vehicles drive from one end to the other without stopping. cyclists are constantly breaking the law after 10.30am occasionally the police will set up and issue fines for offenders, the County Council and the City Council seem to have lost the will for action against this constant flouting of the law[/p][/quote]I totally agree with you norton manor. when coming into work for 9am Cornmarket is full of lorries and bikes going all over the place (road and path) constantly feel that I'm taking my life in my hands walking down there. There is NEVER any police enforcing the law.[/p][/quote]Perhaps that's because the restrictions only apply from 10 am to 6 pm?! D'Oh! xenarthra
  • Score: 5

8:56pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

I think all the route buses should terminate at one of the 4 park-and-ride sites, and only have the park-and-ride buses coming into the city
I think all the route buses should terminate at one of the 4 park-and-ride sites, and only have the park-and-ride buses coming into the city Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 2

10:36am Thu 18 Sep 14

Myron Blatz says...

Do failed Green party politicians never go and get a proper day job? The benefits of through bus routes linking north Oxford with the rest of the world cannot be underestimated. That and the fact that the centre of Oxford has historically been the crossroads of traffic - it was never designed to be only for pedestrians and rogue cyclists.
Do failed Green party politicians never go and get a proper day job? The benefits of through bus routes linking north Oxford with the rest of the world cannot be underestimated. That and the fact that the centre of Oxford has historically been the crossroads of traffic - it was never designed to be only for pedestrians and rogue cyclists. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

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