Thanks to a colleague for forwarding this response to an FOI request.
Thank you for your request of 29 October 2017 in which you asked for the following information:
1. The cost to the taxpayer of the recent pavement widening in Oxford High Street, including officer time planning the change, contracting with suppliers and all other associated costs.
2. What assessment of the impact on traffic flows was done.
3. What assessment of the impact on cyclist safety was done.
The footway widening to which you are referring was undertaken as part of a series of transport improvement measures in relation to the proposed prohibition of vehicles using Queen Street and the knock-on effect that would have on the surrounding city road network, including bus routeing. Due to the cost savings from undertaking these works as part of a wider piece of work, the apportionment of costs is hard to quantify in detail however the works were approximately £40k.
This widening was also implemented with pedestrians in mind to improve their and bus passenger experience in an area where the narrow footway was a source of complaints. This widening enables the provision of bus shelters to further improve infrastructure for bus passengers.
Due to the small size and nature of the works it is not necessary to undertake an informed assessment of the impact on traffic flows, beyond the acknowledgement that there is likely to be a small detrimental impact which is considered acceptable in the context of the wider benefits to other user groups.
The implemented works are now being closely monitored which has, only last week, resulted in the relocation of bus stop L2 to alleviate the blockages and delays that had materialised since its introduction. Further minor changes to traffic regulation orders in the vicinity may be forthcoming in the future if considered necessary.
Cyclists, as well as other vulnerable road users’ safety are a priority for the county council and the design was informed using national standards and guidance.