Oxfordshire’s Green Party County Councillors are challenging the County Council proposal for five more Park and Ride sites on Oxford’s Green Belt. They will be placing a motion to the County Council at its meeting on 7th July. Councillor David Williams explains:
“Oxfordshire’s Green Party County Councillors will oppose the suggestion of five additional Park and Ride sites on Oxford’s Green Belt. These proposals are based on discredited housing targets and assumptions about radical increases in housing completions. We reject building on the Green Belt under any pretext.”
The £75 million available should be spent on improving walking, cycling and bus services. Part of this sum could be used for a feasibility study on re-opening the Carterton-Witney-Oxford-Cowley-Wheatley rail line over the next 15 years or so as a major traffic-reducing project. The existing Park and Rides, perhaps with double ramping and extensions, can easily cope with the expected real increases in demand all at a fraction of the cost of buying and building five new massive Park and Rides.
He comments on the land use implications of these Park and Rides:
Only 10% of England’s land area is forested, so we import about 90% of the wood we use. We are importing more food than ever before, so losing agricultural land to concrete and tarmac is not sensible. Abandoning protection of the Green Belt would also mean a loss of amenity to Oxford people. We have lost large areas of ancient woodland since 1945 and about 1 in 10 of our wildlife species are at risk of extinction. We cannot afford to ignore our forestry, food and biodiversity like this, treating our County as if there was to be no tomorrow.