Healthy streets for Oxford: make your voice heard

Over 180 people came to the meeting on Healthy Streets and Cycling with Andrew Gilligan on 2 October at the Town Hall. A follow-up meeting between seven involved organisations agreed some actions as a first step. We hope you feel able to do at least one of the suggested actions.

One of Andrew Gilligan’s main messages was that the number one key to success is courageous political leadership. Our task, as voters who badly want serious change, is to endow our political leaders with that bravery.

In Oxfordshire it’s the County Council that has the power, as highways authority, to make decisions about transport. The priorities it sets, the funds it finds, the projects and maintenance it controls, all profoundly affect the quality of our daily lives, our travelling, our safety and our health. The City Council also has influence through their control of Planning. All of us in Andrew Gilligan’s audience clearly wanted to transform how ordinary women, men and children, can actively and healthily travel and enjoy our living in all the villages and towns of Oxfordshire, including, of course, the city of Oxford.

Transformational change to achieve this new future requires everyone to put pressure on the councillors who are our political representatives. If all they hear is silence, then nothing much will alter.

We urge you to provide an unstoppable impetus. There are two main demands we propose:

  • Appoint a cycling and sustainable transport commissioner to drive through change
  • Find £150m for segregated cycle routes in and near Oxford, as identified by Andrew Gilligan.

Actions you can take – now!

  • Write to your councillors: you have two City/District and one County councillor. Please also send a copy to your MP. You can base your text on the suggestions and template provided here.  If you don’t know who represents you, enter your postcode at www.writetothem.com. Here are the contact details for the City Council and the County Council. It will be particularly helpful if you can do this before 6 November, when the full County Council will consider a set of recommendations on cycling and walking presented by Cllr Suzanne Bartington.
  • Make clear the two specific asks: fund the segregated cycle routes as specified by Andrew Gilligan; appoint a cycling and sustainable transport commissioner
  • Come to the Call2PedalAction Workshop the Saturday, on 27 October – free. Register here. Follow #OXC2PA if you cannot be there.
  • Speak to your councillors about cycling, walking and liveable /healthy streets in your neighbourhood – when they knock on your door, at their surgeries, at public meetings.
  • Support and join in high-profile publicity tactics organised by local advocacy groups for cycling, walking and living streets.
  • Use the media – tell personal first-hand stories about how real people’s lives – yours, your friends’, your family’s – have been affected by dangerous streets and air pollution.
  • Endorse the Claudia Charter for Safer Cycling.
  • Join a campaign/advocacy group: Cyclox; Oxfordshire Liveable Streets; Oxford Pedestrians Association; Sustrans; your local cycle group outside Oxford.
  • Use your own Residents’ Association/Community Group, and your local online forums.
  • Look out for a petition that we are working on: this will be on the website when it is ready.