AT every Connecting Oxfordshire forum, county council leader Ian Hudspeth encouraged everyone to contribute their best ideas for environmentally, economically and socially viable transport.
His subsequent comment on restoring some buses to Cornmarket is characteristically open-minded: “It is something that has been put forward, so we will put it into the mix.”
Central Oxford bus connections are hampered by routes terminating in Magdalen Street, up to 600m from stops and destinations in St Aldate’s, High Street and Castle Street.
Banning all buses from Cornmarket in 1999 imposed a diversion of almost a mile from Carfax to Magdalen Street, which by 2005 killed all through routes.
In 2009 five stops were removed from Queen Street and too many buses were forced into St Aldate’s, whose west side now has too many stops on a pavement too narrow for passengers and pedestrians to share.
Since 2009 passengers in Bonn Square have been “temporarily” denied a shelter, seat or full-height kerb for disabled access.
- Buses in Cornmarket in 1998
The Crown Estate and Land Securities want remaining buses expelled from Queen Street and the stop removed from Bonn Square. They want new stops at the bottom of St Aldate’s, remote from Carfax and Magdalen Street. Otherwise they say they will not redevelop Westgate.
This discriminates against passengers not able-bodied enough to walk half a mile. Passengers carrying heavy shopping, luggage or small children would be left to struggle, give up, or go by car.
Instead of choking some streets with unlimited buses while completely pedestrianising others, Oxford should have a manageable number of buses in all main streets, including Queen Street and Cornmarket.
Chairman, Bus Users Oxford
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