A SERIES of congestion-busting measures including new bus-only lanes and a workplace parking levy are now moving forward.

Residents have been given a chance to have an initial say on the radical proposals which include the levy and five new bus gates across the city.

There were more than 3,000 responses to the scheme devised by the county and city councils in the initiative called Connecting Oxford.

Some residents and organisations have expressed concerns about the bus gates - 42 per cent of residents said the camera-enforced restrictions would make their journeys worse.

Oxford Mail:

But only 25 per cent of residents who responded in the online survey said the levy would make their journey worse.

County council cabinet member for environment Yvonne Constance described the consultation response as ‘enormous’ but Marston resident Richard Parnham, who is opposing a new bus gate in Marston Ferry Road, disagreed.

READ AGAIN: Thousands comment on Connecting Oxford transport plans

He said: “I think the biggest takeaway from this data set is that 3,000 responses to a consultation, in a county of 687,524 people is a pretty hopeless response rate.”

Council leaders insist there will be further consultation as the plans move forward if they are approved by the councils cabinets next week.

If all goes to plan, the radical proposals would be introduced in 2022.

Oxford Mail:

City council cabinet member for sustainable transport Alex Hollingsworth said: “Many cities in the world are moving in this direction of travel if that is not an appalling pun.

READ AGAIN: Actress Florence Pugh is nominated for an Oscar

“At a time when both the city and county councils have formally recognised the global and local climate emergency, we need to take decisive action to reduce the impacts of car traffic on Oxford and Oxfordshire.

“Those impacts are much more than air pollution, serious though that is. That’s why we need to drastically lower the number of vehicles as well as making sure that those that remain are as clean and green as possible. Cutting car traffic will allow buses to run more efficiently, and free up space for safe and secure routes for cyclists and pedestrians.

Oxford Mail:

“Cities all across the world are leaving behind the era when private cars were the dominant form of transport.”

READ MORE: Troubled school's new headteacher writes to parents

One of the city’s key bus gates operates in High Street.

Now new bus gates are planned for Worcester Street, Thames Street, South Parks Road, Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way.

Proposals include plans for a workplace parking levy (WPL) for firms based in the city’s ‘eastern arc’ but Oxford University said it would make more sense for the levy to be citywide.

It also expressed reservations about the extra bus gates, warning that its catering contractor could be forced to travel an additional 41,000 miles a year.

Oxford Mail:

According to the plans employers with 11 or more parking spaces would be affected by the levy of up to £600 per space per year.

READ AGAIN: Latest court results for Oxfordshire

More detailed proposals will now be drawn up, with formal consultation in winter 2020 followed by a public inquiry in May 2021.