The Oxfordshire County Council tells us it has not got enough money to build a safe crossing over the A40 between Risinghurst and Barton, or to repair the road bridge over the Eastern by-pass to Shotover. It leaves the major road into Oxford from London in a shocking state for year after year, with a road surface that looks as if a bomb hit it, and a haphazard so-called "cycle lane" along the pavement where bikes can collide with pedestrians and have to dodge around lamp-posts and bus-stops.
Then it comes up with grandiose schemes to spend tens of millions on a mono-rail system around the ring road, and install trams (yes trams!) in St Giles. The infamous Ian Hudspeth who was responsible for messing up the city centre with his schemes ten years ago is behind this nonsense too.
We are being flashed artists' impressions of an updates St Giles, paved in concrete and invaded by super-trams that look like Eurostar. It's ugly, it's insensitive to our historic city, and it is nonsense. We don't need to ban cars from yet more of Oxford. Banning cars in one place leads to congestion in others. What we need is just the commonsense to allow traffic, including low-emission buses, to pass straight through the centre of the town as it used to do. The pedestrianized centre created by Ian Hudspeth is inconvenient, cluttered by buskers and trivial stalls, and it has not helped the existing markets and shops to do more business.
Where does the County Council imagine it is going to find the money to enlarge Oxford train station or to re-build Frideswide Square? The latter has already had millions spent on it, and now the County Council is condemning it as a "cluttered congested junction".
Of course its a cluttered, congested junction, because people coming in and out of the city need to get through it in their cars or on buses. The Council's idea for improving anything is always to ban traffic, thus crippling transport. They would have done better to leave it alone in the first place.
More pictures of the County Council's grandiose, silly ideas can be seen on its website.
And yes, the website address below is correct with a misspelling of Frideswide. She's only the Saint who founded Oxford and set up the cathedral and the university so what does she matter?
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