Running out of road

New protected bike lanes are urgently needed to stop Oxford and Cambridge “seizing up”, Running out of Roada new report written for the National Infrastructure Commission recommends.

The study, by former Transport for London cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan, highlights the need to increase the number of journeys that are made by bike by improve cycling infrastructure, with new separated cycle tracks on main roads, new off-road routes and remodelled junctions to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

To do this, it calls on the Government to provide an extra £200 million for the work, if both Oxford and Cambridge agree to the plans and take other measures to cut traffic by 15 per cent over the next four years – such as road closures, a congestion charge or a workplace parking levy. All of these are being considered in one or both of these cities.

Report author Andrew Gilligan said, 

“Without transport improvements, Oxford and Cambridge will seize up. But none of the usual improvements work.  New roadbuilding within these cities is impossible. Light rail is expensive and slow to deliver. There isn’t even room in the centres of these cities for more buses.  But one simple answer is staring Oxford and Cambridge in the face: the bicycle. Getting more people to cycle is the quickest, cheapest, and least disruptive way to relieve pressure on their roads.”

25 per cent of all commuter journeys within Oxford are made by bicycle. But the report found that Oxford’s roads are still designed almost entirely for cars provision for cycling is poor. The report recommends that five high-quality segregated or low-traffic routes in and around Oxford be created, several of them continuing beyond the city boundary to Eynsham, Kidlington and Wheatley.

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