Challenging the County on Active Travel

TO: letters pages, Oxford Mail


8th July 2020

Dear Editor,

Oxfordshire County Council has missed out on £300,000 of funding for cycling (Oxford Mail, 7th July). However, there is a wider concern. The County Council’s consultation on Active Travel (walking and cycling) does not inspire confidence either:

This consultation actually includes reference to cars and motorbikes which have nothing to do with Active Travel. There are no accompanying questions to ask the public about the importance of Active Travel in relation to health promotion, the Climate Emergency, reducing air pollution, cutting traffic congestion or protecting people from noise. There is a major failure to encourage thinking about how the County needs proper walking and cycling networks covering the County as a whole. Active Travel is, above all, about quality of life and this has not registered with the County Council yet.

The consultation is so poor it should be withdrawn and replaced with something which stresses the importance of Active Travel.

The County Council should, at the very least: ensure more funds for Active Travel by extending or creating pedestrian and pedestrian priority areas in towns and cities and promoting electric car hire rather than car ownership. It should spend more on this than on new road-building, road widening, road bridges etc;

The results of such initiatives would be cleaner air, less noise and much more attractive communities to work, shop and take leisure in than at present.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Dawe