“Oxford is too polite.” This was one Oxford resident’s response to Andrew Gilligan’s presentation at the “Roads are for people” event, held on Tuesday 2 October in Oxford’s Town Hall and hosted by Low Carbon Oxford North (with Cyclox, the University of Oxford and Oxford Civic Society).
Over 180 people turned up to hear Andrew talk about Oxford’s congestion crisis and the need for greatly improved cycling infrastructure. The answer to Oxford’s traffic issues, he said, was “staring us in the face”. There was huge support from the room, including from local politicians Tom Hayes (city), Susanna Pressel (city and county) and Neil Fawcett (county), and on behalf of local MPs Anneliese Dodds and Layla Moran as well as Leader of the County Council Ian Hudspeth.
Andrew Gilligan’s recent report to the National Infrastructure Commission, “Running out of Road”, calls for £150m to be invested in cycling to combat unmanageable traffic volumes and create a healthier, cleaner and safer city. Specific proposals include segregated cycle lanes on arterial roads including Banbury and Botley Roads.
Andrew called on Oxford and Oxfordshire to put “pressure on the leaderships of the City and County for change”. He highlighted the importance of having someone in power whose job it is to bring about change – the equivalent of his role as Cycling Commissioner in London. And instead of being too polite, he told residents, “make yourselves a nuisance”.
Building on the success of this event, LCON will be working with other organisations to build public pressure and identify priority asks from the city and county councils.