BROKEN pavements and pot-holed roads in Oxford must be fixed to ‘sweeten the bitter pill’ of congestion-busting measures like bus gates and a workplace parking levy, according to a county councillor.

City and county councillor Susanna Pressel is urging the county council’s cabinet to balance out anti-congestion measures in the Connecting Oxford scheme with investment to benefit cyclists and pedestrians.

The levy and five new bus-only lanes are among proposals being put forward by the city and county councils.

READ AGAIN: Congestion-busters including bus gates are coming to Oxford

The county cabinet is expected to back the proposals tomorrow, with the city cabinet set to approve the scheme on Wednesday and the radical measures could be introduced by 2022.

Oxford Mail:

Jericho and Osney councillor Ms Pressel said she supported the ‘bold vision’ of Connecting Oxford but pointed out that new measures could have been put in place sooner.

She added: “It’s now six years since I managed to get a motion through this council supporting research into a workplace parking levy (WPL). However, I hope that the end is in sight at last.

“The bus gates especially, but also the WPL will be a bitter pill for some people to swallow.

"I feel strongly that we need to do much more to sweeten that pill.

"Even at this early stage we need to be able to point to measures that we are bringing in now to encourage people to leave their cars at home and to switch to other means of travel.

“We need more and better bus routes, and not just in the Eastern Arc; we need more and safer cycle lanes and far more secure cycle parking.”

READ AGAIN: Thousands comment on Connecting Oxford transport plans

Ms Pressel added that ‘much better maintenance of the roads and pavements in the city’ was necessary.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “Uneven footways and crumbling, pot-holed roads can put off all but the most intrepid cyclists.

"City council and ODS staff do their best, but they have been unfairly starved of money for many years.

"My request is this: please review the way the available county highways budget is divided up among the five district councils. It’s obvious that in the city centre hundreds if not thousands of people are using the pavements every hour - and often tripping on the damaged sections.

“This number is, of course, set to increase, if these proposals go ahead.”

Oxford Mail:

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

There were more than 3,000 responses to the scheme devised by the county and city councils.

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