Oxford City Council has begun the installation of 130 additional bike parking spaces at Park and Rides to help commuters cycle the last miles of their journey into the city.
The work will see 64 new bike parking spaces installed at Redbridge Park and Ride, 42 new spaces installed at Peartree Park and Ride, and 24 spaces at Seacourt Park and Ride to allow commuters to reach their final destinations in Oxford using a bike.
The installation started last week, carried out by ODS, which manages all Park and Ride sites in Oxford on behalf of the City and County councils, to ensure additional capacity is available when many of the city’s non-essential shops today.
Under its ‘Park and Pedal’ initiative, in 2015 the City Council installed 110 cycle parking spaces across Redbridge Park and Ride and Seacourt Park and Ride.
At Peartree Park and Ride, the space for the new bike parking spaces will come from underused and available blue badge parking spaces. However, the situation will be assessed continuously, and if the need for additional blue badge parking spaces increases, the spaces will return to this usage.
At Redbridge Park and Ride, the new bike parking spaces will be installed alongside the existing bike parking on the pathway by the building. At Seacourt Park and Ride, two car parking spaces will give way to 24 cycle spaces, located close to existing cycle parking.
The City Council has committed £234,000 to work on measures needed to enable pedestrians and cyclists to safely maintain social distancing in the city –this includes £100,000 of CIL funding to make emergency changes to support more people to walk and cycle, and a further £134,000 of Government funding.
The £134,000 of Government funding is part of a wider £3 million investment across Oxfordshire, including Oxford city centre, issued to Oxfordshire County Council by Central Government, as part of £250 million of funds nationally to encourage safe pedestrian and cycle movement in cities.
A survey of Oxford residents this month found that 47% plan to cycle into the city centre as it reopens, and 79% of Oxford residents supported the introduction of more cycle parking at Park and Rides.
The City Council has also surveyed businesses on the range of measures to ensure social distancing across the city – including allocating more space at Park and Rides for bicycle parking in order to encourage ‘Park & Pedal’ journeys into the city – with 78% of businesses in favour of the measures.
The City Council has been working with partners to ensure that Oxford city centre remains at least as accessible to people with disabilities – including for those with mobility, sight and hearing impairments, and hidden disabilities – as it is currently.
Councillor Louise Upton, cabinet member for a safer, healthier Oxford, Oxford City Council, said: “With less traffic on the roads, and a reduction in air pollution, many people have taken up cycling during the lockdown period, either on their own or with their families.
‘We want to convert this to a permanent change in behaviour and make it easier for people to use their bikes to commute to work, pick up shopping or visit friends. Now, as people begin to return to Oxford they can park their car at one of our Park & Ride sites, and then cycle the rest of their journey, taking advantage of the quieter roads during this time. We are working with Oxfordshire County Council to ensure those who do cycle can do so in enhanced cycle lanes where they feel safe.”
Councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment, Oxfordshire County Council, added: “Oxfordshire County Council is also working hard to make sure cycling is strongly supported as the lockdown is lifted and into the future.
“We are investing a large part of the first £597,000 of a £2.9 million Government active travel grant to upgrade the cycling infrastructure both in Oxford and across all districts of Oxfordshire which includes more cycle parking countywide. We also have a detailed plan of action for the future in our Local Cycling Walking and Infrastructure Plan to change the way we travel.”