Jamie Hailstone 26 July 2016

Traffic jams causing headaches for firms in Oxfordshire

Congestion on the roads around Oxfordshire is holding back economic growth, a report has warned.

A new report by the Oxfordshire Innovation Engine, which was commissioned by Oxford University, the Oxford Trust and the local enterprise partnership, found congestion was one of a number of key issues which need to be addressed to help firms grow.

According to the report, the capacity of the roads around the county ‘remains a key concern of businesses’.

‘Many of the organizations interviewed for this update expressed concern about road congestion in Oxfordshire, particularly on key strategic routes,’ the report states.

It singles out congestion on the A34 as an ‘on-going concern’ and adds the average journey time per mile in Oxford city centre has risen from 5.58 in 2010 to 6.22 in 2014.

A spokesman for Oxfordshire CC said the local authority’s updated rail strategy is aimed at reducing longer distance car trips and reducing pressure on routes like the A34.

‘Oxfordshire CC has been improving the city’s ring road for many years, particularly since 2005 when Headington roundabout was improved,’ said the spokesman.

‘Since then we’ve improved Heyford Hill, Kennington, Hinksey, and are now doing Cutteslowe and Wolvercote. These schemes reduce ring road congestion and therefore also help encourage people to use the ring road and park and rides rather than routes within the city.

‘However these schemes won’t work on their own, they are part of a bigger strategy – that strategy is Local Transport Plan 4, approved by the council in 2015 to cover the period 2016-2031. In particular we also have to tackle traffic growth and there are proposals in Local Transport Plan for mass transit, walking and cycling,’ added the spokesman.

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