New report highlights significant potential to boost cycling in Cambridge and Oxford

Published: 1 Jul 2018

By: NIC

Tagged: ,

Bicycles at Oxford University

New protected bike lanes are urgently needed to stop Oxford and Cambridge “seizing up”, a new report written for the National Infrastructure Commission recommends.

Chief executive Philip Graham said Running out of Road, published today, “highlights the important role cycling could play in connecting communities”.

The study, by former Transport for London cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan, highlights the need to increase the number of journeys that are made by bike by improve cycling infrastructure, with new separated cycle tracks on main roads, new off-road routes and remodelled junctions to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

To do this, it calls on the Government to provide an extra £200million for the work, if both Oxford and Cambridge agree to the plans and take other measures to cut traffic by 15 per cent over the next four years – such as road closures, a congestion charge or a workplace parking levy. All of these are being considered in one or both of these cities.

The report also recommends major improvements to Milton Keynes’s cycle routes.

Chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission Philip Graham said:

“Creating thriving and liveable communities supported by the right infrastructure is essential to safeguard prosperity of one of the most economically important regions in the country. Maintaining its global lead in science and technology means retaining the brightest and best and providing them with new places to live and accessible routes to work.

“This report highlights the important role cycling could play in connecting communities. We hope local leaders consider its recommendations as part of their development of an integrated transport strategy for the Growth Arc.”

Report author Andrew Gilligan said:

“Without transport improvements, Oxford and Cambridge will seize up. But none of the usual improvements work.

“New roadbuilding within these cities is impossible. Light rail is expensive and slow to deliver. There isn’t even room in the centres of these cities for more buses.

“But one simple answer is staring Oxford and Cambridge in the face: the bicycle. Getting more people to cycle is the quickest, cheapest, and least disruptive way to relieve pressure on their roads.”

Commuting on two wheels

Oxford and Cambridge are already Britain’s top cycling cities: 43 per cent of all commuter journeys within Cambridge are made by bike, and 25 per cent of all commuter journeys within Oxford.

However, the report finds that roads in the two cities, particularly Oxford’s, are still designed almost entirely for cars. This means that there is still significant potential to grow cycling.

The report‘s recommendations include:

  • The creation of five high-quality segregated or low-traffic routes in and around Oxford, several of them continuing beyond the city boundary to Eynsham, Kidlington and Wheatley
  • Improving the standard of the main road routes in Cambridge and constructing a network of cross-country routes serving the necklace of villages around the city
  • The creation of an east-west city centre route in Milton Keynes.

Running out of road was one of a number of independent reports commissioned by the National Infrastructure Commission for the report, Partnering for Prosperity – a new deal for the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Growth Arc, published in November 2017

The winner of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Growth Arc Ideas Competition – which sought innovative design for new communities in the region – was won by the VeloCity team with their vision of a cluster of villages within easy cycling and walking distance of each other.

Share this article

<

Recent Articles

Coming up in 2024
Thumbtack pins in calendar concept for busy, appointment and meeting reminder

Coming up in 2024

This page shows a calendar reflecting the latest expected dates for Commission reports, publications and events. You can also sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter by entering your email address in the box at the foot of each website page.

1 Feb 2024 By
Commission to explore capability of local electricity grid to support renewables push
electricity substation

Commission to explore capability of local electricity grid to support renewables push

Ensuring that the network connecting homes and businesses to the electricity supply can cope with the demands of a fully electric-powered economy will be the focus of a new piece of work by the National Infrastructure Commission. The government has today (27 February) published the terms of reference for the study, which asks the Commission...

27 Feb 2024 By
We’re recruiting – Senior Policy Adviser (environment)
Floodplain near Wollaston

We’re recruiting – Senior Policy Adviser (environment)

We’re looking to recuit someone with a particular interest in water management to join our environment team and help develop policies that enables our infrastructure systems to better protect and enhance our natural environment and safeguard important natural resources in the face of climate change impacts. Based in our Leeds office, the successful candidate will...

23 Feb 2024 By
Letter to government on business models for net zero technologies

Letter to government on business models for net zero technologies

Commission Chair Sir John Armitt has written to government setting out the need to accelerate efforts to encourage private investment in the energy infrastructure pivotal to achieving net zero and energy security. In a letter to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Sir John highlights the importance of...

23 Feb 2024 By

Evidence_Icon_Turquoise Created with Sketch.

Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.