Share your views on the future of Oxpens

Oxford City Council is launching a public consultation on a planning document that will help shape the future of Oxpens.

The Oxpens site, between Oxford Railway Station, the Westgate Centre and the River Thames, represents one of the most significant development opportunities in the city centre and has the potential to make a valuable contribution to the life and economy of the local area and Oxford as a whole.

The document, known as the Oxpens Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), will help to establish appropriate uses for the Oxpens site, which could include houses and flats, offices, research & development (R&D) space, local amenities, green open space, a hotel and a public square. The development is also expected to bring regeneration benefits for neighbouring residents, such as improved public transport and better vehicle, cycle and pedestrian links to the city and surrounding areas.

Members of the public are invited to comment on the Oxpens SPD for a six-week period, from Monday 17 June until Monday 29 July 2013. This feedback will influence the extent and composition of the new neighbourhood at Oxpens.

To participate in this consultation please take a few minutes to respond to the questionnaire online or download a print version at This consultation will be available from 9.30am on Monday 17 June. The full Oxpens SPD and related documents, such as the Strategic Environmental Assessment, will be available to download and print copies of the SPD will be available at Oxford City Council’s Customer Service Centre at St. Aldate’s Chambers and at the Central Library.

There will be a public exhibition showing extracts from the SPD at the rear of the Customer Service Centre at St Aldate’s Chambers from Monday 1 July to Friday 5 July, 8am to 6pm. All are welcome to attend and print copies of the questionnaire will be available to complete and submit on site.

Fuller 700 bus update from the Hospitals Trust

We have been informed that the bus company RH transport will no longer provide the 700 bus from Water Eaton Park & Ride to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Oxfordshire County Council has arranged for the Oxford Bus Company to run a skeleton bus service at peak times on Friday 5 October. Please note that this service will only run to the John Radcliffe Hospital and will not continue on to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre or the Churchill Hospital site.

From Water Eaton to John Radcliffe:

Morning: 06:50, 07:10, 07:50, 08:10, 09:00

Afternoon: 15:30, 16:10, 16:30, 16:50, 17:10, 17:50, 18:30, 19:05

StageCoach buses from Water Eaton to the John Radcliffe Hospital will run as normal at the following times (RH Transport passes will not be valid):

Morning: 06:25, 07:30, 08:30

Afternoon (return journeys): 15:58, 17:03, 18:08

The week commencing Monday 8 October, Oxfordshire County Council hopes to run a full service from Water Eaton Park & Ride to the John Radcliffe Hospital. Check this site for regular updates.

It appears that Oxford Bus Company is  doing a great job to help out in this difficult situation!

Replacement service for route 700 passengers

Oxfordshire County Council has arranged for a skeleton peak hour service to operate on Friday October 5 run by the Oxford Bus Company. RH Transport passes will be valid.

Water Eaton departures

Depart Water Eaton at 6:50am, 7:10am, 7:50am, 8:10am, 9am.
Additional departures on Stagecoach service S5 will take place at 6:25am, 7:30am and 8:30am but RH passes will not be valid on Stagecoach buses.

John Radcliffe Hospital departures

Depart from John Radcliffe Hospital at 3:30pm, 4:10pm, 4:30pm, 4:50pm, 5:10pm, 5:50pm, 6:30pm, 7:05pm.
There are additional departures on Stagecoach service S5 at 3:58pm, 5:03pm and 6:08pm but, again, RH passes will not be valid on Stagecoach buses.
Information on other RH bus routes can be found here.

700 bus shock

The following notice appeared on the RH Travel website this afternoon, and has led to a number of concerned residents contacting David and me.
RH runs the 700 Hospital Link from Water Eaton Park & Ride to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.


From the end of Service today, Thursday the 4th of October 2012, RH Transport Services will cease to operate All Oxfordshire County Council Bus Services and School Contracts.

Any one who has booked Private Hire’s with us should make other arrangements.

Oxfordshire County Council are currently working on finding replacement Bus Operators.

For further information please contact the County Council’s Transport Department 01865 816000

We would like to thank all our Passengers for there Custom over the years.

David and I are liaising with County officers on what replacement services will be available tomorrow and will post this up as soon as we hear back

Osler Road kerb to be repaired

Another trip hazard. This time it’s in Osler Road

Kerb damage to Osler Road opposite Cafe Noir


The City Council will soon be out to repair this section of kerb which is continually damaged by buses and heavy vehicles.

There will be a site visit later this week to see what more can be done to minimise the frequency of repair visits.

Free bus services H1 and H2 to Old Marston and to Quarry/Sandhills

The County Council has introduced two new bus services that are totally free of charge

The H1 calls at Franklin Road on its way to and from Old Marston

It runs on Wednesdays and Fridays to Headington Shops from Franklin Road at 11.00. The service back again leaves Headington Shops at 12.32 and arrives at Franklin Road at 12.35

The H2 serves Sandhills and Headington Quarry every day from Monday to Friday

It leaves Headington Shops at 11.18, 12.18 and 13.18 and the route goes through Trafford Rd/Pitts Rd, Beaumont Road, Quarry Rd/Weyland Rd, and Stile Road back to the shops again.

There is an extra H1 service that goes to and from Headington Shops from Sandhills each day Monday to Friday: it leaves Sandhills Merewood Avenue at 10.15 and returns at 13.35 (on request)

Local Sustainable Transport Fund – a summary

We are being asked lots of questions about what the LSTF is. There is more guidance on the County Council website, but here is a brief summary.

The £5m bid for the project entitled Supporting Employment  Growth and Accessing Higher Education and Healthcare in Oxford was successful.  The majority of this funding is revenue but supported by £2.8million of capital from the County Council and Developer contributions.  The funding covers the period from now until the end of 2014/15.  The principal objective is to deliver better access to employment and health facilities in the Headington area through development of Park & Ride, and focuses on the expansion of Thornhill Park & Ride (to around 1,400 spaces) which has planning permission.  This extension will be complemented by:

*        innovative new bus services (using low carbon vehicles) linking P&R (including Water Eaton as well as Thornhill) to the hospitals, Brookes and Oxford University Headington campuses including Bus Stop upgrades to Premium Route standard; 

*        new bus priority along the London Road, to complete this project;

*        measures to encourage walking and cycling for  trips to local destinations from Thornhill (including a proposed cycle hub / hire scheme);

*        a comprehensive ‘Travel Choices’ project including working with key employers.

The  construction of the Thornhill extension was initially scheduled for June 2012 with completion by February 2013 – but timing was dependent on negotiations with landowner (Shotover) impacting on environmental works.  Selective charging of long stay users (principally London bound) of the site was proposed from April 2012 and would need to take into account the need to encourage hospital use and to cater for shift patterns.

Outline design is starting on the London Road bus lane which will look at options for extending bus priority on this corridor in both directions.  This may offer opportunities to improve the efficiency of operation of Headington Roundabout by reducing queues tailing back to it.  Public consultation on options is initially programmed for Spring 2012 with construction in May 2013, although there may be opportunities to bring this forward.

The other elements in the programme are currently at the scoping or preliminary stage:  bus stop upgrades, new bus services on the completion of the scheme, and cycle and pedestrian measures.  The travel choices project has started with travel surveys in early 2012 followed by personalised and workplace travel planning activities in early 2013.

Bus stops and works by utilities companies

As you will recall, SSEB recently laid cables along the London Road and the bus stop outside Dorset House was taken out of action. We have been trying to find out how the communications process can be improved when this happens.

The utilities company should liaise with the County Network Supervisor over all works affecting the highway, and where this work might affect a bus stop, the Bus Team at the County also needs to know. They ensure that the bus operators inform users of the alternative stop and  place the information in the shelter with the assistance of the bus team.

The county puts details of roadworks on their Streetworks Register. The bus companies can pick up the information from there and can access privately operated webpages (although the latter don’t include works to pavements, only to highways) 

In this case there was a communications breakdown at several points in the chain, and we are working with county officers to improve communications with residents and with local councillors in future