Many studies, including by the Oxfordshire Growth Board, have identified this site as an exceptionally sustainable location for development. Key to this is the close proximity to existing transport links.
The effects of travel to and from a site are often the most challenging problems for any new development. The location of the site on the edge of Oxford has a number of advantages:
- it enables new residents to walk and cycle to nearby jobs (for example at Oxford Science Park, Unipart, Mini, Oxford Business Park), local schools (The Oxford Academy) and leisure (Ozone Leisure Park, Kassam Stadium, Leys Pool and Leisure Centre).
- it creates the opportunity to connect into and enhance existing pedestrian and cycle networks as well as build upon the existing bus network.
Consequently, a high number of shorter distance travel journeys would be able to be undertaken on foot and by bicycle. The site is therefore in a highly sustainable location to meet Oxford’s housing needs.
The proposals will be designed to enhance provision for walking and cycling including along Grenoble Road and routes into Greater Leys and Littlemore.
For longer distance journeys the site will deliver high quality public transport. The location of the site enables these services to be provided directly to a variety of destinations in Oxford including the City Centre, Cowley and Headington.
The site will also facilitate Park and Ride on the A4074 Reading Road serving both the City Centre and east Oxford. Interchange of bus services in Cowley and on Abingdon Road will cater for onwards travel.
These measures are consistent with the County Council’s proposed measures for the area contained in the Oxford Transport Strategy. The County Council’s bus rapid transit includes routes that extend south of the City to the site and the Council’s rail strategy identifies the aspiration to re-introduce passenger rail services on the Cowley branch line to the north of the site with a new station at the Science Park.
This range of measures, when implemented, will ensure that there a range of choices for how people travel to and from the site, including sustainable modes such as walking, cycling and bus.
In addition, the provision of jobs opportunities together with housing, schools and shops, alongside existing leisure uses and community facilities means that people are more likely to walk and cycle to access these services rather than if the houses were built in a more remote location.