I have been reading with interest, and horror, the suggestions from the bus companies that Cornmarket should be opened up to buses going from the south to the north of the city.
Whilst I was not a councillor when the Oxford Transport Strategy (OTS) was introduced in 1999 – it was forgotten that I had been chairman of the Highways and Traffic Committee of Oxford City Council from 1994 to 1997 when the debate about the OTS was taking place.
I faced opposition from so many representatives from the various groups in the city, the city traders, including the Covered Market traders, the representatives of the University, opposition from other city councillors from various parties – but I remained determined that the OTS was the way forward.
They were all telling me that the introduction of the OTS would be the ‘death knell’ of the city centre.
Look at Cornmarket now. It is full of pedestrians enjoying the atmosphere. Don’t tell me that the OTS has had a negative impact on the vibrancy of the city centre.
I also had a very constructive relationship with Oxfordshire County Council officers which proved to be essential if the OTS was to be implemented successfully. We all agreed that it was really important that the OTS was put in place as soon as possible. Do we really want to go back to the days when Cornmarket was full of buses and pedestrians had to stay on the pavement and not enjoy the pleasure of meandering in a street devoid of traffic?
Cllr Gill Sanders
City Councillor for Littlemore
County Councillor for Rose Hill and Littlemore
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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
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