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

6:30am Friday 22nd August 2014

By Matt Oliver

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.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Live blog: Body found in hunt for Jed Allen following murder of family in Didcot

Oxford Mail:

8:11am Sunday 24th May 2015

Follow our Live and unrivalled coverage of the murder investigation in Didcot, updated throughout today

Man wanted after Didcot murders works for town council

Oxford Mail:

8:42am Monday 25th May 2015

THE MAN suspected of killing Philip Howard, Janet Jordon and Derin Jordon is employed as an apprentice gardener for Didcot Town Council.

Didcot murders: Smiling face of teenager with the sister he is suspected of killing

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 25th May 2015

CRADLING his baby sister Derin, this is a teenage Jed Allen, the man suspected of killing her and their mother in a house in Didcot.

Didcot murders: More than 100 police officers hunt suspect in three killings

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 25th May 2015

TRIPLE murder suspect Jed Allen was still being sought by police today in an operation involving more than 100 officers.

Good cheer as charity charioteers hit streets

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 25th May 2015

HUNDREDS of villagers turned out to cheer on those taking part in the annual Bampton Shirt Race.

New recreation ground finally open for play time

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 25th May 2015

AFTER more than two years in the planning, a former Second World War airfield in Oxford has been turned into a recreational paradise.

 

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/