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Oxford City Centre Movement and Public Realm Strategy Review

Comparing and contrasting

  • Oxford, United Kingdom

    Oxford, United Kingdom

There’s more than one way to achieve sustainable access to a city centre

The goal of the Oxford City Centre Movement and Public Realm Strategy (MPRS) was to improve Oxford’s public realm quality and enhance movement on heritage streets. However, there were concerns about some of the plans put forward in the strategy. Our study, commissioned jointly by Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach Oxfordshire, critically reviewed the MPRS. We tested the strategy against national and local policy, best practice, cost, feasibility, and deliverability and identified a number of serious shortcomings that would detrimentally affect bus operations.

We then prepared an alternative strategy to secure a more balanced approach to travel needs, assessing the routes, stops, and layover requirements. We evaluated both options using a multi-criteria assessment framework and found that our proposal was a lower cost and more easily deliverable scheme that largely maintained existing levels of accessibility, economic activity, environmental impact, and safety. In contrast, the MPRS delivered stronger benefits to some sectors of the community but at the cost of significant adverse impacts to others. In addition, total annual city centre bus mileage for our strategy was 7.1% lower than the current situation, which compared favourably with the MPRS increase of 13.6%.

The operators submitted our report as evidence to the Oxford City Council to seek a review of their city centre proposals—which were then revised to omit the potentially damaging rerouting of bus routes and specific street closures. An improved dialogue with councils, operators, and key stakeholders has been achieved on balancing all modes in the city centre.

At a Glance

  • Oxford Bus Company
  • Stagecoach Oxfordshire
Meet Our Team

Dougie McDonald, Director of Growth and Integration

Our approach to transportation planning and design has rapid change in people’s mobility needs and addressing the climate emergency at its heart.
Dougie McDonald Director of Growth and Integration Read More

Dougie McDonald

Director of Growth and Integration

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