Letter from Councillor Emily Smith on the promotion of active travel as an alternative to car use

Letter written by Cllr Emily Smith to Cllr Yvonne Constance OBE  Cabinet Member for the Environment Oxfordshire  County Council

Dear Cllr Constance,

I am writing on behalf of Vale of White Horse District Council regarding the promotion of active travel as an alternative to car use.

The end of lockdown provides a golden opportunity to encourage walking and cycling as part of the new normal, but we need to be ambitious in order to make the most of this opening. The move away from car use to active travel would provide environmental, health and economic benefits to all of Oxfordshire’s residents and it is, therefore, incumbent upon us to show decisive leadership in encouraging this transition.

We, therefore, request that Oxfordshire County Council:

  • Prioritise quality control of all active travel infrastructure in accordance with the Oxfordshire Cycling Design Standards, ensuring all proposals are audited for safety and encouragement of active travel.
  • Review their Parking Standards considering the risks poor car parking poses to people on cycles and pedestrians.
  • Establish systems for the County to work with Town and Parish Councils to identify CIL funding that could be used to enhance cycle ways and footpaths that link with new routes within new housing development
  • Continue to resource the work on the Science Vale cycle network and expand this work planning cycle networks within the designated Science Vale area across the Vale of White Horse District.
  • Continue to resource the Oxfordshire Greenways project.
  • Expedite the development of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) for all towns and parishes in the Vale District, engaging with local cycling and walking group volunteers to undertake the preliminary groundwork.
  • Work with our towns and parishes to identify local needs in addition to sources of funding to implement their LCWIPs.
  • Fast-track bold and ambitious measures in our towns and parishes to make social distancing possible at pinch-points and consider these measures permanent rather than temporary.

The Vale regards active travel as vital to securing the green recovery that we all wish to see. We, therefore, look forward to working with you to ensure that it becomes part of the new normal. 

Yours sincerely

Councillor Emily Smith

Leader of the Council