Consultation: pedestrianisation of Queen Street

There is a County Council consultation setting out proposals for pedestrianizing Queen Street. Here is their information below.


  • Oxfordshire County Council proposes to improve Queen Street in central Oxford by prohibiting buses, taxis and private hire vehicles from using it. This would in effect make the street largely ‘pedestrianised’ – similar to Cornmarket.  
  • No changes are proposed to access for cyclists and delivery vehicles, which would continue to be permitted between 6pm and 10am.    
  • Between New Road and New Inn Hall Street (i.e. through Bonn Square), cycling will continue to be permitted 24 hours a day, as now.

Why pedestrianise Queen Street

Queen Street forms part of one of the main east-west routes across the city centre, and pedestrian and cycle numbers are expected to increase significantly in future as a result of development in the city’s West End and elsewhere across Oxford

It is vital that strong pedestrian and cycle links are maintained and encouraged, and improvements to the pedestrian experience are made, to ensure a well-connected and joined up city centre that will continue to thrive

The pedestrianisation of Queen Street is part of the county council’s Local Transport Plan and Oxford City Council’s development plan for the West End, the West End Area Action Plan. It is an important element of wider improvements to the public realm in the city centre, such as the recent transformation of Frideswide Square

It is proposed that the changes required to pedestrianise Queen Street are made by the time the new Westgate centre opens in autumn 2017

This is because major changes to bus routes and stops will be required when the new Westgate centre opens in any event. Co-ordinating these changes with the Queen Street proposals will minimise disruption and will also mean Queen Street will be better able to cope with the increased numbers of pedestrians and cyclists going to and from the enlarged Westgate centre once it opens

This proposal is not part of the Westgate development, but Oxfordshire County Council is working closely with the Westgate Oxford Alliance (the owners of the Westgate centre) to plan this project

Proposed changes

The project includes a package of measures to provide alternative arrangements for buses, taxis, and private hire including:

  • New bus routes around the city centre to allow buses to avoid Queen Street and serve the expanded Westgate centre
  • A new bus turnaround at the Worcester Street/New Road junction, including new zebra crossing facilities on New Road, Worcester Street and Park End Street
  • Changes to bus stop locations, including removal of the bus stop in Bonn Square
  • Changes to the pick and set down points for many bus services
  • Relocation of loading bays on certain streets
  • Relocation of disabled parking bays on certain streets
  • Relocation of taxi rank at Carfax

Project costs and funding

It is estimated that the infrastructure required to close Queen Street will cost around £965,000. This includes some major works to create the turnaround at the Worcester Street/New Road junction, provision of new bus stops and shelters, and changes to pavements

At this stage the project is not fully funded; funding sources are to be confirmed following further design work to finalise the proposals, including consideration of the feedback from this consultation.

This consultation

This consultation will run from 9th May to 6th June. Your views are invited on all aspects of the proposals.

Future consultation on Traffic Regulation Orders

Some of the proposals require amendments to existing Traffic Regulation Orders. These will be advertised separately later in the summer, as part of the formal consultation on the scheme

Responses to this consultation will be used to further refine the scheme in advance of that formal consultation

Project timetable (subject to consultation and funding)

Initial consultation                                     May/June 2016

Consultation on TRO amendments          Summer 2016

Detailed design commences                    Autumn 2016

Construction period                                  April – Sept 2017

Westgate opens and changes come into effect   October 2017

Details of all of the proposals are available at

Paper copies are available on request.

contact details are below.

Oxfordshire County Council

Speedwell Street


Or e-mail them at:

The deadline for comments is: Monday 6th June 2016

Telephone: 01865 792422


Access to Headington update

The County Council has published a summary of themes coming out of the recent public consultation on their Access to Headington proposals.

These are:

Access to Headington
Summary of feedback from the public consultation on the initial proposals

General/area-wide comments

  Numerous respondents were concerned by proposals to remove grass verges and trees to accommodate junction improvements, bus priority and pedestrian/cycle facilities. For many the loss of any trees would be unacceptable. Other respondents understood why this might be required in places but felt the impact of proposals could be minimised and mitigated through additional trees being planted in the local area.


  There were many comments relating to proposals to remove on-street parking to provide bus or cycle lanes. Whilst some respondents welcomed the potential changes, such as cyclists and commuters, residents directly affected were generally against the idea, and those living nearby were concerned about the potential knock-on effect of more parking in neighbouring side-roads. Some respondents also felt the loss of parking would result in increased traffic speeds.


  The introduction of raised entry treatments at side roads was met with mixed views with some regarding them as a positive addition in so far as they would improve safety for vulnerable users such as the elderly, young children and cyclists. Other respondents felt they provided little benefit and cited concerns about confusion over who has right of way, maintenance costs, and potential drainage issues.


  Some respondents felt proposals should accommodate additional measures in areas of Headington outside the main project area. In particular, respondents wanted improvements to manage the amount and speed of traffic using routes off the main highway, together with improvements to adjoining walking and cycling routes.


  Many respondents welcomed proposals to provide uniform and consistent cycle route provision. Some respondents thought more could be done, particularly full- or semi-segregated cycle lanes, as well as greater priority for cyclists at junctions. Some respondents concerned about the loss of trees thought narrower cycle lanes would be acceptable.

Location specific comments

  Proposed alterations along Cherwell Drive including the provision of a bus lane led to a number of comments, mostly against the proposal. Many respondents raised concerns such as visual impacts as well as the potential for an increase in noise and vibration, and issues with drainage.


  Respondents were broadly welcoming of proposals to replace the Marston Road, Headley Way double mini-roundabout with a signalised junction, and were supportive of giving more priority to pedestrians and cyclists in particular. The loss of trees and grass verges was however a concern along with the proposal to switch access arrangements at the shops.

 Residents on Headley Way raised concerns about the potential loss of the lower footway and impact this could have on accessing their properties.

  Issues regarding access and the traffic impact of the John Radcliffe Hospital were raised frequently, with respondents suggesting alternative improvements should be considered including a direct road link between the hospital and the A40 Northern Bypass, a dedicated hospital Park and Ride site, and additional on-site parking.

  There were concerns about proposed carriageway widening in Osler Road. Some considered the grass verges to be an important amenity and there were also concerns about reducing footway widths. A number of respondents thought a new pedestrian crossing on London Road, linking Lime Walk with Osler Road, should be considered.

  Proposals to install a diagonal pedestrian crossing at the junction of Windmill Road and London Road were broadly welcomed. A number of respondents suggested options for improving the design of this measure, whilst other respondents highlighted concerns about the potential implication on queuing traffic at the junction.

  There were a number of comments received regarding the widening of the pedestrian and cycle route between the Churchill Hospital and Massey Close, with some residents concerned that this might encourage use by motorised traffic.

  Some respondents were concerned about how the bus lane would be enforced in Churchill Drive, and how access to Boundary Brook House could be maintained.

  Proposals to re-grade the carriageway and footway along Old Road, to provide more space for cycle lanes, received a mixed response. Most respondents welcomed proposals to improve cycle lanes, but there were others who were concerned about the impact of the re-grading particularly to frontages and the grass verges and hedges along the road.

  A number of respondents felt more could be done to improve cycle priority at the Hollow Way/The Slade/Horspath Driftway junction.

Next steps

Following the consultation on initial proposals the next stage of design work is now underway. During the next few months the county council will be considering the comments received in more detail and undertaking additional surveys and site investigations to inform the ongoing development of the designs and proposals. Further design work and surveys are required before officers can tell people about any changes to the proposals in response to their feedback. The webpage therefore also confirms the next steps in terms of further consultation:

  • Second round of consultation, focusing mainly on formal consultation on Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) – February/March 2016
  • Cabinet Member Decision on TROs – May/June 2016
  • Construction – summer 2016 to spring 2018


Over the coming weeks and months various surveys will be taking place across the project area; you may see the survey teams on site. This will start with tree surveys which will commence Monday 19th October, and will continue through the week. Other surveys have yet to be confirmed.

The surveys are required to help the County Council gather more detailed information about the area and help inform the on-going design process.

Temporary closure of Headington Hill this SUNDAY

The A420 Headington Road will be closed on Sunday 18th October from 08:00-15:00 between the junction of Marston Road and Gipsy Lane.

A “No Waiting” restriction will also apply. This means that vehicles will need to be removed from the highway where there are yellow “No Waiting” cones in place.

The closure is to enable tree work including tree removal by crane.







Lib Dem County Group statement on potential closure of children’s centres

Oxfordshire’s 44 Children’s Centres provide a wide range of services to children and families. They are highly valued by all those who access them as places offering support and advice on the challenges of bringing up children from infancy to adulthood. 

The Tory administration’s proposals to reduce the number of Centres from 44 to 7 or 8 “hubs” will remove entirely the universal provision currently provided. In spite of the administration’s assertion that “there has been cross party agreement” on the issue, Liberal Democrats opposed the last OCC Tory budget on the grounds that the savings planned (particularly the proposed £6m of savings from the Children’s Centre Budget of £16m) was highly damaging to the social provision of the County Council and unacceptable. Nothing has changed in the last year except the threat from Central Government of yet more savings in the coming year. Liberal Democrats accept the need for savings, but believe that they could be found by some amalgamation and sharing of management, whilst keeping the pressure on Central Government to understand that there is no further room for major cuts in OCC Social care provision without cutting proven frontline valued services. Liberal Democrats also believe that such wholesale cutting is storing up untold social and financial costs for the future.  

As well as cutting most of the Centres themselves, the Tories propose to cut staff at the Children’s Centres by more than 50%. The redundancy costs involved will mean that very few savings will be delivered in early years. Furthermore, “Sure Start” money (given to Councils years ago to set up Children’s Centres may well have to be repaid. This again will limit any savings which the Tory proposals might generate.

The Tories propose to focus the little money left on “the most vulnerable” communities. A very large number of other families, currently accessing and benefiting from the Children’s Centres will get no service at all. There is every likelihood that some of those will quickly move into “the most vulnerable” category increasing future cost provision.

The Tory proposals are shortsighted, desperate  and will not work – even in financial terms.

In order to make all possible savings, Liberal Democrats are arguing that the Council’s effort and energy would be much better spent researching, consulting and persuading the District Councils, the Parish Councils, Schools and the Children’s centres themselves to find ways of running the Centres leaving the County Council to provide the Social care expertise. This would generate more immediate and long lasting savings.

City Council recruitment evening

Oxford City Council is holding a Recruitment Open Evening for its Direct Services team on Wednesday 13 May 2015 from 5pm to 8pm at the Marsh Road Depot, Cowley, OX4 2HH.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The council is looking for enthusiastic people to join its team including:

  • Electricians/Surveyors
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Team Leaders
  • HGV/LGV Drivers
  • Refuse Collectors
  • Street Cleaning Operatives
  • Grounds Maintenance Operatives
  • Road workers
  • Vehicle Technicians
  • Apprenticeships: Vehicle Technician, Plumber, Electrician, and Sign Shop and Road Marking.


You can find out more here

Customer service standards – do give us your feedback!

This a copy of the City Council’s newly revised customer service standards to be implemented in January. It does not appear to match the reports we got from residents at our last Ward Focus meeting about the time they have wasted in making phone calls to the Council. We were recently advised that there is no menu option for Parks and it was suggested to us that callers wanting to contact Parks should hang on for 2 complete cycles of menu option repetitions and wait for a person to pick up.



E-mails, Requests made via the Council’s Website & Written Correspondence

  • We will aim to acknowledge each customer contact received within 1 working day, either giving an answer in full or setting an expectation of what will happen next.
  • We will aim to provide a substantive reply within 5 working days.
  • If English is not your preferred language, we will provide a translation service for you on demand.
  • We will provide fully accessibility within the website to enable all customers to read or hear its content.

Face to face

  • We will offer a suitable appointment with an appropriate member of staff within 5 days of your request.
  • We aim to see 90% of customers within 15 minutes of their appointment time
  • We will ensure that your privacy is respected, and if appropriate provide you with a private interview room
  • If English is not your preferred language, we will provide a translation service for you on demand.  In addition, we can also provide a British Sign Language translator subject to availability.


  • When you telephone us we will aim to answer your call within 20 seconds unless you choose for us to call you back.
  • If English is not your preferred language, we will provide a translation service for you on demand.

Comments, complaints and compliments

  • When you make a comment, complaint or compliment to us, we will acknowledge this within 3 working days
  • We will provide you with a full response within 10 working days and if this is not possible, we will contact you again to let you know when you can expect to hear from us

Our staff

  • Will always be polite and treat you with respect
  • Will avoid using jargon so that you are clear about the information that has been given to you
  • Will encourage you to give us feedback on our services so we can improve

In return we expect our customers to treat us with respect and courtesy. 

Wharton Road setback

Residents have asked why work on the hump at the end of Wharton Road is not yet completed.

The specialist contractor hired by the City Council’s Highways Department has pulled out at the last minute, so Highways is trying hard to find another company to take on the job. The remaining work is to apply a resin imprint on top, and a pre-requisite for this to work properly is two days of dry weather. It’s hoped that the work may be finished this side of Christmas, but factors affecting this include the scarcity of specialist contractors, their current workload and weather conditions.

The City Council’s highways officer has been out to the site and confirms it is safe. He is keeping councillors updated with progress.