The Travel team works with local authorities and a wide range of partner organisations on transport issues that affect the University, and to improve the travel experience for our staff and students
Influencing transport policy
We have close links with Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to encourage improvements to walking, cycle and bus routes in Oxford.
We support policies to deliver safe, direct and traffic-free cycle routes and the creation of a zero emission zone in the city, as these could have substantial positive impacts on the health and journey experience of our staff and students.
We also represent the interests of the University by responding to consultations on transport schemes that affect us and the wider community. This includes Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Connecting Oxford’ proposals, announced in autumn 2019, to implement five traffic restrictions and a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) in East Oxford. The proposals aim to prevent private vehicles travelling through the city centre and generate much needed transport funding to invest in Oxford’s ailing transport network.
The University supports the Connecting Oxford proposals and their objectives to improve connectivity, tackle transport carbon emissions and reduce air pollution, but does not think they go far enough and that a more radical package of benefits to underpin the traffic restraint measures is needed. A University response to the proposals made in December 2019 was developed after engagement across the wider University community, including staff, students, departments, colleges and contractors, during Michaelmas Term 2019. This repeated previous statements to the Local Authorities and the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission on the Oxford-Cambridge Growth Corridor that the University’s priorities for transport are:
transformational investment in Oxford’s First-Last Mile network i.e. the walking, cycling, bus, rail and road links that connect our staff living in outlaying settlements such as Witney, Bicester, Kidlington, Abingdon and Didcot with their jobs in Oxford;
the urgent need to improve the safety and experience of walking and cycling to and within Oxford; and
a new rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.
Lobbying for transport improvements
We work with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Brookes University to press for better bus connections to the Headington Hospitals and Old Road Campus where more than one-third of our staff are based.
We also work with local bus operators – Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach – to make a coordinated response to the County and City Councils on issues of shared interest. Also with sustainable transport advocacy groups such as Cyclox, the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, Oxfordshire Cycling Networks, the Low Carbon Oxford groups, the Oxford Pedestrian Association and the Coalition for Healthy Streets & Active Travel (CoHSAT).
For example, the University has signed up to Claudia’s Charter, which works for cycle safety in Oxford, following the tragic death of Oxford student Claudia Comberti in 2017, whilst we support CoHSAT to campaign, lobby and work for making Oxford safer and more pleasant to walk and cycle in.
Funding transport and travel schemes
The University helps to fund travel improvements, both on and off our estate, where they will benefit our staff and students. The money comes from the Green Travel Fund, the income generated from staff car parking charges.