This morning I worked out what the new “Road Safety Demonstration Scheme” on the Cowley Road in Oxford is going to involve, and I’m not impressed.
First, a background:-
The Cowley Road in Oxford is on the city’s most heavily used bus route. It is also one of the most heavily used cycle routes for those who commute. In the place where this new scheme is being implaced there is a reasonably large group of shops. In fact, it’s only third in size behind the city centre, Headington and Summertown in the size of the shopping area.
So, what’s the new scheme?
Well, they’re narrowing the road at several points. These narrow stretches are probably just about wide enough for two buses to pass with no space between the sides of the buses and the curb. I say probably just about wide enough as I’m not actually sure that it is possible to get two buses past them.
It’s obvious that this “safety” scheme has made no provision for the safety of cyclists. Indeed, it’s made the situation a whole lot worse. I’m not sure it’ll make the pedestrians any safer either, especially if buses keep having to ride over the edges of the pavements to get past each other.
I think all the local planners should be forced to commute along the Cowley Road everyday for a month before they cook up any more stupid schemes. These are Green Party members on the whole so they should know better… shouldn’t they?