Car restrictions could be city’s only way to go

thisisoxfordshire: John Tanner by Electric Avenue, West Oxford John Tanner by Electric Avenue, West Oxford

ELECTRIC car-only streets have been suggested as a potential solution to Oxford’s pollution problem.

The city’s environment tsar has said new measures to tackle pollution will not be enough to deal with the city’s problem.

Earlier this year it emerged that some parts of Oxford have consistently failed to meet the target for reducing nitrogen dioxide, which is caused by diesel vehicles.

Last month researchers from King’s College, London carried out air pollution tests in Oxpens Road and High Street.

From January 2014 regulations allowing only buses and coaches that meet strict European standards to operate in central Oxford will come into force.

But city councillor John Tanner, the executive board member for Cleaner, Greener Oxford, said more work would be needed.

He said: “Pollution levels are too high and I think we are going to need to take further steps, the city council and county council together, to make sure everyone has got clean air to breathe.

“My guess is that however successful the bus restriction is, it will not be enough.

“We might, for instance, say that only electric cars could use certain roads but I don’t know what further measures we could take until we have seen all the research.”

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Mr Tanner said talks are taking place between the city and county councils to assess what can be done.

When asked what streets could be subject to such a restriction he said he didn’t know, but added: “St Aldate’s is clearly a problem, as is the High Street and there might be other areas around the city as well. St Aldate’s is the worst offender for air pollution in the city centre.”

The city council, which is responsible for monitoring pollution, says measurements in the city centre have failed, since 2005, to go below the target of 40ug/m3 – or micrograms per cubic metre of air.

But Oxford has met targets for other pollutants such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide.

Green city councillor Craig Simmons agreed more had to be done.

He said: “The first thing from our point of view is not to make the problem worse and the Westgate development will do that.

“Rather than having huge trucks coming into the city centre, you could have a drop off point and smaller, more energy efficient vehicles could bring it in.”

Nitrogen dioxide can cause airway inflammation even in otherwise healthy people, with long-term exposure leading to reduced lung function.

County councillor David Nimmo Smith, the cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We are keen to do something to tackle the problem of air pollution but it comes down at the end of the day to what is achievable.”

Sushila Dhall, chairman of Oxford Pedestrians’ Association, said: “The association would not want to see more buses re-routed onto St Aldate’s, because St Aldate’s has a big problem at the moment with air pollution.”

oxford’s air pollution

The annual mean target for nitrogen dioxide is 40ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre of air).

Measurements in Oxford city centre have been:
2011: 61
2010: 58
2009: 50
2008: 51
2007: 57
2006: 67
2005: 67

Comments (33)

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11:51am Tue 9 Jul 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

There are all kinds of things that could be done - without investing in electric tractor units to haul trailers in from the outskirts. Which would in itself result in "fury" from the various lobby groups if large scale holding areas and transfer terminals were built on the "green-belt".

First stage would be to re-align residents parking permits to match the CO2 emissions of their vehicles, with a minimum fee of £50 per annum to match the current rate.

£50.00 Band A-C
£105.00 Band D
£125.00 Band E
£140.00 Band F
£175.00 Band G
£200.00 Band H
£220.00 Band I
£260.00 Band J
£280.00 Band K
£475.00 Bank L

Next would be to undertake an assessment to identify the current levels of pollution that are generated by the railway - and cross reference with the planned change of timetable that will come with electrification to make an educated assessment of the reduction that will come in due course.

Oh yes, and the usual re-open the rail-route between Witney and Cowley - Garsington Road to take several thousand cars off the road.

But that would take hard work, dedication and investment rather than hand-wringing micro-mitigation.
There are all kinds of things that could be done - without investing in electric tractor units to haul trailers in from the outskirts. Which would in itself result in "fury" from the various lobby groups if large scale holding areas and transfer terminals were built on the "green-belt". First stage would be to re-align residents parking permits to match the CO2 emissions of their vehicles, with a minimum fee of £50 per annum to match the current rate. £50.00 Band A-C £105.00 Band D £125.00 Band E £140.00 Band F £175.00 Band G £200.00 Band H £220.00 Band I £260.00 Band J £280.00 Band K £475.00 Bank L Next would be to undertake an assessment to identify the current levels of pollution that are generated by the railway - and cross reference with the planned change of timetable that will come with electrification to make an educated assessment of the reduction that will come in due course. Oh yes, and the usual re-open the rail-route between Witney and Cowley - Garsington Road to take several thousand cars off the road. But that would take hard work, dedication and investment rather than hand-wringing micro-mitigation. Andrew:Oxford

1:04pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Sid Hunt says...

When will councillors stop driving their cars into Oxford?
When will councillors stop driving their cars into Oxford? Sid Hunt

2:21pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Bicester retired says...

Andrew @11.51am

CO2 is not a pollutant. NO2, SO2 and CO are.

Anyway, the electric car only scheme will never work in reality.
Andrew @11.51am CO2 is not a pollutant. NO2, SO2 and CO are. Anyway, the electric car only scheme will never work in reality. Bicester retired

2:31pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Bicester retired says...

Further to my previous comment, CO2 is blamed to cause global warming by computer models but the reality is that while CO2 level in the atmosphere has been increasing rapidly for the last 15 years, average global temperature has remained fairly unchanged.
Further to my previous comment, CO2 is blamed to cause global warming by computer models but the reality is that while CO2 level in the atmosphere has been increasing rapidly for the last 15 years, average global temperature has remained fairly unchanged. Bicester retired

2:48pm Tue 9 Jul 13

King Joke says...

Bicester, CO2 is not a pollutant, but in all likelihood a car emitting twice as much CO2 will also emit twice as much NOx, SOx etc - unless large cars use a different kind of chemistry?

Electric cars will always be impossibly difficult in a city where not many people have a front drive for charging. It would be far easier to transfer intra-urban journeys to public transport, and encourage the use of car clubs for extra-urban ones or for taking a fridge to the dump etc. I'd sooner hire one for a couple of hours once a week than have it parked idle for the remaining 166.
Bicester, CO2 is not a pollutant, but in all likelihood a car emitting twice as much CO2 will also emit twice as much NOx, SOx etc - unless large cars use a different kind of chemistry? Electric cars will always be impossibly difficult in a city where not many people have a front drive for charging. It would be far easier to transfer intra-urban journeys to public transport, and encourage the use of car clubs for extra-urban ones or for taking a fridge to the dump etc. I'd sooner hire one for a couple of hours once a week than have it parked idle for the remaining 166. King Joke

3:42pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Bicester retired says...

King Joke @ 2:48pm

See http://cars.uk.msn.c
om/features/green-mo
toring/articles.aspx
?cp-documentid=15680
9426

This is contrary to what you believe.
King Joke @ 2:48pm See http://cars.uk.msn.c om/features/green-mo toring/articles.aspx ?cp-documentid=15680 9426 This is contrary to what you believe. Bicester retired

3:47pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Bicester retired wrote:
Andrew @11.51am

CO2 is not a pollutant. NO2, SO2 and CO are.

Anyway, the electric car only scheme will never work in reality.
Indeed

However, if you are going to create a charging structure to discourage "dirty" vehicles in the city, it's best to start one with a cheap and transparent link to existing DVLA records and legislation.

The vehicles that burn the least amount of fuel are clearly going to emit the lowest "pollutant" gases as well as the least CO2. The emissions tests at the MOT will continue to ensure that the vehicle emissions meet European standards.

It's great to have a "grand design", but perhaps better to start with something that would add a cost of 1.5p per permit issued (based on someone on living wage taking 5 seconds to check customer submitted data on the DVLA website - a single Band D vehicle would cover the cost of over 3600 enquiries).

If it makes just one person reconsider their choice of car - then it has done the job.
[quote][p][bold]Bicester retired[/bold] wrote: Andrew @11.51am CO2 is not a pollutant. NO2, SO2 and CO are. Anyway, the electric car only scheme will never work in reality.[/p][/quote]Indeed However, if you are going to create a charging structure to discourage "dirty" vehicles in the city, it's best to start one with a cheap and transparent link to existing DVLA records and legislation. The vehicles that burn the least amount of fuel are clearly going to emit the lowest "pollutant" gases as well as the least CO2. The emissions tests at the MOT will continue to ensure that the vehicle emissions meet European standards. It's great to have a "grand design", but perhaps better to start with something that would add a cost of 1.5p per permit issued (based on someone on living wage taking 5 seconds to check customer submitted data on the DVLA website - a single Band D vehicle would cover the cost of over 3600 enquiries). If it makes just one person reconsider their choice of car - then it has done the job. Andrew:Oxford

3:48pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Bicester retired says...

the link should be
http://cars.uk.msn.c
om/features/green-mo
toring/articles.aspx
?cp-documentid=15680
9426
the link should be http://cars.uk.msn.c om/features/green-mo toring/articles.aspx ?cp-documentid=15680 9426 Bicester retired

4:08pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Bicester retired says...

Andrew @ 3:47pm

Larger cars may not emit more NOx than smaller cars. Say for example, MINI One D 1.6 emits 173mg/km NOx while BMW 535d emits 130mg/km NOx.
Andrew @ 3:47pm Larger cars may not emit more NOx than smaller cars. Say for example, MINI One D 1.6 emits 173mg/km NOx while BMW 535d emits 130mg/km NOx. Bicester retired

4:10pm Tue 9 Jul 13

King Joke says...

Bicester, have you got a wider spread of data? THe six models in the article may be at the extremes. Interesting stuff though.
Bicester, have you got a wider spread of data? THe six models in the article may be at the extremes. Interesting stuff though. King Joke

4:33pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Bicester retired says...

King Joke @ 4:10pm

I don't have more data at hand but I think that you can easily find the data in car magazines for different makes and models of cars or from online car dealer websites.

NOx emission is usually ignored by car buyers because road tax is determined only by CO2 emission.
King Joke @ 4:10pm I don't have more data at hand but I think that you can easily find the data in car magazines for different makes and models of cars or from online car dealer websites. NOx emission is usually ignored by car buyers because road tax is determined only by CO2 emission. Bicester retired

6:09pm Tue 9 Jul 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Bicester retired wrote:
Andrew @ 3:47pm

Larger cars may not emit more NOx than smaller cars. Say for example, MINI One D 1.6 emits 173mg/km NOx while BMW 535d emits 130mg/km NOx.
I didn't say anything about the size of cars...
[quote][p][bold]Bicester retired[/bold] wrote: Andrew @ 3:47pm Larger cars may not emit more NOx than smaller cars. Say for example, MINI One D 1.6 emits 173mg/km NOx while BMW 535d emits 130mg/km NOx.[/p][/quote]I didn't say anything about the size of cars... Andrew:Oxford

6:22pm Tue 9 Jul 13

hotel inspector. O.C.C. says...

What a pity then that the council will only licence ONE vehicle as a Taxi which is the most Diesel guzzling (21 mpg), polluting, and unreliable model called The TX4. Maybe somebody should ask the council about this policy that does not allow Taxi owners to buy Eco-Taxis.
What a pity then that the council will only licence ONE vehicle as a Taxi which is the most Diesel guzzling (21 mpg), polluting, and unreliable model called The TX4. Maybe somebody should ask the council about this policy that does not allow Taxi owners to buy Eco-Taxis. hotel inspector. O.C.C.

7:00am Wed 10 Jul 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

hotel inspector. O.C.C. wrote:
What a pity then that the council will only licence ONE vehicle as a Taxi which is the most Diesel guzzling (21 mpg), polluting, and unreliable model called The TX4. Maybe somebody should ask the council about this policy that does not allow Taxi owners to buy Eco-Taxis.
So the vehicle that is licensed is one manufactured by a subsidiary of Manganese Bronze. Manganese Bronze has been in administration since October last year...

There should certainly be an alternative. Don't Ford manufacture a hybrid taxi that's wheelchair compatible for the New York market?
[quote][p][bold]hotel inspector. O.C.C.[/bold] wrote: What a pity then that the council will only licence ONE vehicle as a Taxi which is the most Diesel guzzling (21 mpg), polluting, and unreliable model called The TX4. Maybe somebody should ask the council about this policy that does not allow Taxi owners to buy Eco-Taxis.[/p][/quote]So the vehicle that is licensed is one manufactured by a subsidiary of Manganese Bronze. Manganese Bronze has been in administration since October last year... There should certainly be an alternative. Don't Ford manufacture a hybrid taxi that's wheelchair compatible for the New York market? Andrew:Oxford

9:17am Wed 10 Jul 13

Madi50n says...

The main issue is that Oxford does everything in its power to make motoring difficult, rather than offering real alternatives to it.

Buses get trapped in the same traffic jams as private cars, so what's the point in catching one if you own a car. Cycling is dangerous and people aren't encouraged enough to do it, a paltry lane or two, some fading lines on shared pavements and sharing bus lanes.

Why would you use public transport or cycle if you had a car and could park in the city centre.

Oxford needs radical ideas, tram trains, separate cycling lanes, car-free zones. Instead of traffic lights for pedestrians every 100ms on the main routes into Oxford, raised walkways to cross over roads.

Fewer cars on the road with less restrictions to their free-flow would mean they don't grind along in 1st/2nd gear.

Offering work places incentives to have people work from home or arrive/leave earlier/later so rush hour isn't so full. Getting private schools to provide their own buses for pupils rather than most of them arriving in Chelsea tractors.

These ideas about electric car only zones are terrible, the number of people owning there cars is tiny and will never grow, they are more polluting to manufacture & you have to constantly replace the non-environmentally friendly batteries every few years. We need to offer people real alternatives to entice people out of their cars. The policy of trying to kick people out of them is simply not working.
The main issue is that Oxford does everything in its power to make motoring difficult, rather than offering real alternatives to it. Buses get trapped in the same traffic jams as private cars, so what's the point in catching one if you own a car. Cycling is dangerous and people aren't encouraged enough to do it, a paltry lane or two, some fading lines on shared pavements and sharing bus lanes. Why would you use public transport or cycle if you had a car and could park in the city centre. Oxford needs radical ideas, tram trains, separate cycling lanes, car-free zones. Instead of traffic lights for pedestrians every 100ms on the main routes into Oxford, raised walkways to cross over roads. Fewer cars on the road with less restrictions to their free-flow would mean they don't grind along in 1st/2nd gear. Offering work places incentives to have people work from home or arrive/leave earlier/later so rush hour isn't so full. Getting private schools to provide their own buses for pupils rather than most of them arriving in Chelsea tractors. These ideas about electric car only zones are terrible, the number of people owning there cars is tiny and will never grow, they are more polluting to manufacture & you have to constantly replace the non-environmentally friendly batteries every few years. We need to offer people real alternatives to entice people out of their cars. The policy of trying to kick people out of them is simply not working. Madi50n

9:54am Wed 10 Jul 13

the wizard says...

Yet again this subject appears and yet again it is through their lack of long term planning which has put Oxford City Council into this position.
Time after time on numerous occasions concerning the City and the County Towns Oxford City and Oxfordshire County councils have shown lack of awareness and as usual no long term planning which prevents them from being painted into a corner yet once more.

Surely it is high time that cars were banned from St.Aldates, from Christ Church up to Carfax, taxi's included, unless called to a rank for disabled. No cars into High St, from the restriction onwards. In both cases inward traffic to be subject to barrier control. All around Europe and in cities in this country trams have been employed, clean and quiet, and they could be used in Oxford with "smart rail" as elsewhere. Again Oxford shows its ignorance by not doing so.

In the short term many parts of bus routes are duplicated and that needs to be sorted out to ease the congestion and the pollution. Shuttle trams to get people out of the city centre to bus terminals away from the centre where individual routes can be dispersed is an alternative. One tram leaving every 5 minutes would suffice and they could double up as Park and Ride vehicles in addition to what is existing. Time for Tanner and his cronies to remove their heads from the dark place they usually keep them and get on with the job. If they can't/won't do it, then time for somebody else with a better attitude that can/will make things happen.

Loading restrictions to city centre shops should be put in place so that deliveries and collections are all done before 9am and after 6pm. Shop owners can bleat all they want, but if the place is polluted they won't have customers coming in anyway.
Yet again this subject appears and yet again it is through their lack of long term planning which has put Oxford City Council into this position. Time after time on numerous occasions concerning the City and the County Towns Oxford City and Oxfordshire County councils have shown lack of awareness and as usual no long term planning which prevents them from being painted into a corner yet once more. Surely it is high time that cars were banned from St.Aldates, from Christ Church up to Carfax, taxi's included, unless called to a rank for disabled. No cars into High St, from the restriction onwards. In both cases inward traffic to be subject to barrier control. All around Europe and in cities in this country trams have been employed, clean and quiet, and they could be used in Oxford with "smart rail" as elsewhere. Again Oxford shows its ignorance by not doing so. In the short term many parts of bus routes are duplicated and that needs to be sorted out to ease the congestion and the pollution. Shuttle trams to get people out of the city centre to bus terminals away from the centre where individual routes can be dispersed is an alternative. One tram leaving every 5 minutes would suffice and they could double up as Park and Ride vehicles in addition to what is existing. Time for Tanner and his cronies to remove their heads from the dark place they usually keep them and get on with the job. If they can't/won't do it, then time for somebody else with a better attitude that can/will make things happen. Loading restrictions to city centre shops should be put in place so that deliveries and collections are all done before 9am and after 6pm. Shop owners can bleat all they want, but if the place is polluted they won't have customers coming in anyway. the wizard

10:42am Wed 10 Jul 13

King Joke says...

Chopping bus routes up and forcing people to transfer to trams, then back to buses to complete their journeys, is hardly the way to encourage people onto public transport! It's far better to let buses soak up as much demand as possible, as bus emission regs are far, far tighter than they are for cars. Many of the local fleet are Euro 5, and Euro 6 isn't far off.

We do need trams, but far better to convert a whole bus route over wholesale to allow through journeys - starting with the Cowley Rd routes, ie 1 and 5.

THey tried 'free flowing' routes and condemning pedestrians to using subways and bridges, in the 1960s in places like Birmingham and COventry, IT made these places disgusting and unliveable, and in more enlightened times both these places have been filling subways in and even in some places closing the 'free-flowing' ring roads.

I don't understand the reference to duplication either, this was largeyl eliminated two years ago with the introduction of the Smart Zone.
Chopping bus routes up and forcing people to transfer to trams, then back to buses to complete their journeys, is hardly the way to encourage people onto public transport! It's far better to let buses soak up as much demand as possible, as bus emission regs are far, far tighter than they are for cars. Many of the local fleet are Euro 5, and Euro 6 isn't far off. We do need trams, but far better to convert a whole bus route over wholesale to allow through journeys - starting with the Cowley Rd routes, ie 1 and 5. THey tried 'free flowing' routes and condemning pedestrians to using subways and bridges, in the 1960s in places like Birmingham and COventry, IT made these places disgusting and unliveable, and in more enlightened times both these places have been filling subways in and even in some places closing the 'free-flowing' ring roads. I don't understand the reference to duplication either, this was largeyl eliminated two years ago with the introduction of the Smart Zone. King Joke

10:43am Wed 10 Jul 13

King Joke says...

Chopping bus routes up and forcing people to transfer to trams, then back to buses to complete their journeys, is hardly the way to encourage people onto public transport! It's far better to let buses soak up as much demand as possible, as bus emission regs are far, far tighter than they are for cars. Many of the local fleet are Euro 5, and Euro 6 isn't far off.

We do need trams, but far better to convert a whole bus route over wholesale to allow through journeys - starting with the Cowley Rd routes, ie 1 and 5.

THey tried 'free flowing' routes and condemning pedestrians to using subways and bridges, in the 1960s in places like Birmingham and COventry, IT made these places disgusting and unliveable, and in more enlightened times both these places have been filling subways in and even in some places closing the 'free-flowing' ring roads.

I don't understand the reference to duplication either, this was largeyl eliminated two years ago with the introduction of the Smart Zone.
Chopping bus routes up and forcing people to transfer to trams, then back to buses to complete their journeys, is hardly the way to encourage people onto public transport! It's far better to let buses soak up as much demand as possible, as bus emission regs are far, far tighter than they are for cars. Many of the local fleet are Euro 5, and Euro 6 isn't far off. We do need trams, but far better to convert a whole bus route over wholesale to allow through journeys - starting with the Cowley Rd routes, ie 1 and 5. THey tried 'free flowing' routes and condemning pedestrians to using subways and bridges, in the 1960s in places like Birmingham and COventry, IT made these places disgusting and unliveable, and in more enlightened times both these places have been filling subways in and even in some places closing the 'free-flowing' ring roads. I don't understand the reference to duplication either, this was largeyl eliminated two years ago with the introduction of the Smart Zone. King Joke

10:43am Wed 10 Jul 13

King Joke says...

Chopping bus routes up and forcing people to transfer to trams, then back to buses to complete their journeys, is hardly the way to encourage people onto public transport! It's far better to let buses soak up as much demand as possible, as bus emission regs are far, far tighter than they are for cars. Many of the local fleet are Euro 5, and Euro 6 isn't far off.

We do need trams, but far better to convert a whole bus route over wholesale to allow through journeys - starting with the Cowley Rd routes, ie 1 and 5.

THey tried 'free flowing' routes and condemning pedestrians to using subways and bridges, in the 1960s in places like Birmingham and COventry, IT made these places disgusting and unliveable, and in more enlightened times both these places have been filling subways in and even in some places closing the 'free-flowing' ring roads.

I don't understand the reference to duplication either, this was largeyl eliminated two years ago with the introduction of the Smart Zone.
Chopping bus routes up and forcing people to transfer to trams, then back to buses to complete their journeys, is hardly the way to encourage people onto public transport! It's far better to let buses soak up as much demand as possible, as bus emission regs are far, far tighter than they are for cars. Many of the local fleet are Euro 5, and Euro 6 isn't far off. We do need trams, but far better to convert a whole bus route over wholesale to allow through journeys - starting with the Cowley Rd routes, ie 1 and 5. THey tried 'free flowing' routes and condemning pedestrians to using subways and bridges, in the 1960s in places like Birmingham and COventry, IT made these places disgusting and unliveable, and in more enlightened times both these places have been filling subways in and even in some places closing the 'free-flowing' ring roads. I don't understand the reference to duplication either, this was largeyl eliminated two years ago with the introduction of the Smart Zone. King Joke

12:15pm Wed 10 Jul 13

faatmaan says...

firstly the London council stopped cards using streets in central London being used by cars/lorries. this has lead to no fall off in contamination, secondly there seems to be a disproportionate amount of traffic driving through the centre of oxford, mostly en route to somewhere else, the whole transport layout needs to be looked at independently by those with no vested interests to see a positive long term solution that embraces all modes of transportation, remember the centre of oxford whether it be the universities , retail or other, need lorries and certain people access to their premises, delivery, servicing or even allowing customers to collect their purchases, it would be naïve to stop certain groups, this would slowly kill off the centre of the city ( but this has been mooted many times, by many people), Oxford along with Swindon and Birmingham are car production centres, yet Oxford does its best to obstruct the motorised vehicle, it is time for joined up thinking rather than bespoke self centred policies leading to excluding many groups who don't meet certain vested interests beliefs.What ever happened to the integrated transport strategy portrayed by successive governments ?
firstly the London council stopped cards using streets in central London being used by cars/lorries. this has lead to no fall off in contamination, secondly there seems to be a disproportionate amount of traffic driving through the centre of oxford, mostly en route to somewhere else, the whole transport layout needs to be looked at independently by those with no vested interests to see a positive long term solution that embraces all modes of transportation, remember the centre of oxford whether it be the universities , retail or other, need lorries and certain people access to their premises, delivery, servicing or even allowing customers to collect their purchases, it would be naïve to stop certain groups, this would slowly kill off the centre of the city ( but this has been mooted many times, by many people), Oxford along with Swindon and Birmingham are car production centres, yet Oxford does its best to obstruct the motorised vehicle, it is time for joined up thinking rather than bespoke self centred policies leading to excluding many groups who don't meet certain vested interests beliefs.What ever happened to the integrated transport strategy portrayed by successive governments ? faatmaan

1:18pm Wed 10 Jul 13

King Joke says...

You've said it yourself faatmaan, certain groups NEED to access the city centre for deliveries, yet much of the traffic is only using the city centre to access elsewhere, ie has no need to be there at all.

What other way to address this is there, other than excluding the groups that don't need to be there? You say you don't want to exclude anybody - if we exclude nobody, the city will choke with vehicles.
You've said it yourself faatmaan, certain groups NEED to access the city centre for deliveries, yet much of the traffic is only using the city centre to access elsewhere, ie has no need to be there at all. What other way to address this is there, other than excluding the groups that don't need to be there? You say you don't want to exclude anybody - if we exclude nobody, the city will choke with vehicles. King Joke

1:47pm Wed 10 Jul 13

The Headington Harridan says...

King Joke wrote:
Bicester, CO2 is not a pollutant, but in all likelihood a car emitting twice as much CO2 will also emit twice as much NOx, SOx etc - unless large cars use a different kind of chemistry? Electric cars will always be impossibly difficult in a city where not many people have a front drive for charging. It would be far easier to transfer intra-urban journeys to public transport, and encourage the use of car clubs for extra-urban ones or for taking a fridge to the dump etc. I'd sooner hire one for a couple of hours once a week than have it parked idle for the remaining 166.
Seeing as the most polluted street in Oxford is St Aldates where 90% of traffic is public transport I do not think that having more journeys through there by public transport is a good idea, that is unless your plan is to increase pollution. Getting buses to pull into bus stops and not sit 4 foot from the kerb blocking the road, and turning off their engines would be a good start to cutting pollution and making the air cleaner for all of us that use the area for work or shopping.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Bicester, CO2 is not a pollutant, but in all likelihood a car emitting twice as much CO2 will also emit twice as much NOx, SOx etc - unless large cars use a different kind of chemistry? Electric cars will always be impossibly difficult in a city where not many people have a front drive for charging. It would be far easier to transfer intra-urban journeys to public transport, and encourage the use of car clubs for extra-urban ones or for taking a fridge to the dump etc. I'd sooner hire one for a couple of hours once a week than have it parked idle for the remaining 166.[/p][/quote]Seeing as the most polluted street in Oxford is St Aldates where 90% of traffic is public transport I do not think that having more journeys through there by public transport is a good idea, that is unless your plan is to increase pollution. Getting buses to pull into bus stops and not sit 4 foot from the kerb blocking the road, and turning off their engines would be a good start to cutting pollution and making the air cleaner for all of us that use the area for work or shopping. The Headington Harridan

2:34pm Wed 10 Jul 13

Citizen Sunday says...

The key to understanding Oxfords traffic problems?... Its the only city in the UK (that I know of) whereby its only 'real' inner 'relief' road (Thames St/Oxpens Rd) serving sufficient parking accomodation, runs round the wrong side of its city centre- serving the least populated adjoining urban area/s (West and South Oxford- together equating to less than 10% of the city's population).
Once this is understood and acknowledged, then there may be a chance for any 'real' progress, in tackling this neverending saga, to actually start taking effect.
The key to understanding Oxfords traffic problems?... Its the only city in the UK (that I know of) whereby its only 'real' inner 'relief' road (Thames St/Oxpens Rd) serving sufficient parking accomodation, runs round the wrong side of its city centre- serving the least populated adjoining urban area/s (West and South Oxford- together equating to less than 10% of the city's population). Once this is understood and acknowledged, then there may be a chance for any 'real' progress, in tackling this neverending saga, to actually start taking effect. Citizen Sunday

3:21pm Wed 10 Jul 13

King Joke says...

The Headington Harridan wrote:
King Joke wrote: Bicester, CO2 is not a pollutant, but in all likelihood a car emitting twice as much CO2 will also emit twice as much NOx, SOx etc - unless large cars use a different kind of chemistry? Electric cars will always be impossibly difficult in a city where not many people have a front drive for charging. It would be far easier to transfer intra-urban journeys to public transport, and encourage the use of car clubs for extra-urban ones or for taking a fridge to the dump etc. I'd sooner hire one for a couple of hours once a week than have it parked idle for the remaining 166.
Seeing as the most polluted street in Oxford is St Aldates where 90% of traffic is public transport I do not think that having more journeys through there by public transport is a good idea, that is unless your plan is to increase pollution. Getting buses to pull into bus stops and not sit 4 foot from the kerb blocking the road, and turning off their engines would be a good start to cutting pollution and making the air cleaner for all of us that use the area for work or shopping.
Replacing the same capacity with car transport would make things much worse, given the emissions per person that that would entail. Public transport is the best and cleanest way to get everyone there, we just have to manage it properly, eg by providing enough space for it.

Sadly some of the measures afoot, like closing Queen St, will put more buses on St Aldates not fewer.
[quote][p][bold]The Headington Harridan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Bicester, CO2 is not a pollutant, but in all likelihood a car emitting twice as much CO2 will also emit twice as much NOx, SOx etc - unless large cars use a different kind of chemistry? Electric cars will always be impossibly difficult in a city where not many people have a front drive for charging. It would be far easier to transfer intra-urban journeys to public transport, and encourage the use of car clubs for extra-urban ones or for taking a fridge to the dump etc. I'd sooner hire one for a couple of hours once a week than have it parked idle for the remaining 166.[/p][/quote]Seeing as the most polluted street in Oxford is St Aldates where 90% of traffic is public transport I do not think that having more journeys through there by public transport is a good idea, that is unless your plan is to increase pollution. Getting buses to pull into bus stops and not sit 4 foot from the kerb blocking the road, and turning off their engines would be a good start to cutting pollution and making the air cleaner for all of us that use the area for work or shopping.[/p][/quote]Replacing the same capacity with car transport would make things much worse, given the emissions per person that that would entail. Public transport is the best and cleanest way to get everyone there, we just have to manage it properly, eg by providing enough space for it. Sadly some of the measures afoot, like closing Queen St, will put more buses on St Aldates not fewer. King Joke

12:14am Thu 11 Jul 13

Gunslinger says...

The pollution we are talking about is mostly caused by DIESEL vehicles - nothing to do with petrol cars. The hotspots are in places like St Aldates and George Street where large buildings prevent fumes etc dissipating naturally, and it must be said arise largely because of the concentration of public transport vehicles - buses and taxis - in those places.

Solutions?
Trolleybuses as in some European cities. Hybrid petrol/electric taxis.
The pollution we are talking about is mostly caused by DIESEL vehicles - nothing to do with petrol cars. The hotspots are in places like St Aldates and George Street where large buildings prevent fumes etc dissipating naturally, and it must be said arise largely because of the concentration of public transport vehicles - buses and taxis - in those places. Solutions? Trolleybuses as in some European cities. Hybrid petrol/electric taxis. Gunslinger

12:35am Thu 11 Jul 13

Myron Blatz says...

Why not just ban City Councillors - they seem to create more problems than they resolve!
Why not just ban City Councillors - they seem to create more problems than they resolve! Myron Blatz

9:20am Thu 11 Jul 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Why not just ban City Councillors - they seem to create more problems than they resolve!
A unitary authority for Oxfordshire sounds like a good idea to me too Myron.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Why not just ban City Councillors - they seem to create more problems than they resolve![/p][/quote]A unitary authority for Oxfordshire sounds like a good idea to me too Myron. Andrew:Oxford

10:35am Thu 11 Jul 13

Arnold.Brewer says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
hotel inspector. O.C.C. wrote:
What a pity then that the council will only licence ONE vehicle as a Taxi which is the most Diesel guzzling (21 mpg), polluting, and unreliable model called The TX4. Maybe somebody should ask the council about this policy that does not allow Taxi owners to buy Eco-Taxis.
So the vehicle that is licensed is one manufactured by a subsidiary of Manganese Bronze. Manganese Bronze has been in administration since October last year...

There should certainly be an alternative. Don't Ford manufacture a hybrid taxi that's wheelchair compatible for the New York market?
Indeed the old FX4 now TX4 really should not be the only choice in Oxford - London has recently allowed Mercedes which are more fuel efficient and I am sure other manufacturers have vehicles that are wheelchair friendly and fuel efficient.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hotel inspector. O.C.C.[/bold] wrote: What a pity then that the council will only licence ONE vehicle as a Taxi which is the most Diesel guzzling (21 mpg), polluting, and unreliable model called The TX4. Maybe somebody should ask the council about this policy that does not allow Taxi owners to buy Eco-Taxis.[/p][/quote]So the vehicle that is licensed is one manufactured by a subsidiary of Manganese Bronze. Manganese Bronze has been in administration since October last year... There should certainly be an alternative. Don't Ford manufacture a hybrid taxi that's wheelchair compatible for the New York market?[/p][/quote]Indeed the old FX4 now TX4 really should not be the only choice in Oxford - London has recently allowed Mercedes which are more fuel efficient and I am sure other manufacturers have vehicles that are wheelchair friendly and fuel efficient. Arnold.Brewer

10:41am Thu 11 Jul 13

King Joke says...

Why is the TX4 so inefficient? As a regular business traveller I've used some of the alternatives in other UK cities and they are rucking fubbish.

The Peugeot E7 is a hastily-converted Partner van with a noisy engine, vibrating body, high floor and low ceiling.

The Mercedes (M8 I think) is a converted Vaneo MPV. It's a bit better than the Peugeot but still has a high floor and unsupportive seats.

THe TX4 is vastly more comfortable than both, why can't they just fit it with a more efficient engine? Is it the body/chassis construction that makes it heavier?
Why is the TX4 so inefficient? As a regular business traveller I've used some of the alternatives in other UK cities and they are rucking fubbish. The Peugeot E7 is a hastily-converted Partner van with a noisy engine, vibrating body, high floor and low ceiling. The Mercedes (M8 I think) is a converted Vaneo MPV. It's a bit better than the Peugeot but still has a high floor and unsupportive seats. THe TX4 is vastly more comfortable than both, why can't they just fit it with a more efficient engine? Is it the body/chassis construction that makes it heavier? King Joke

1:00pm Thu 11 Jul 13

huffer12 says...

According to the Oxford City Council Website that is exactly what they do licence
http://www.oxford.go
v.uk/Library/Documen
ts/Licensing/Taxi%20
Licensing%20-%20Vehi
cle%20List%201.pdf
According to the Oxford City Council Website that is exactly what they do licence http://www.oxford.go v.uk/Library/Documen ts/Licensing/Taxi%20 Licensing%20-%20Vehi cle%20List%201.pdf huffer12

1:32pm Thu 11 Jul 13

Abartonresident says...

Oxford will never solve the problem and with so many more house being built in and around the city it's only going to get worse.
Oxford will never solve the problem and with so many more house being built in and around the city it's only going to get worse. Abartonresident

11:18am Fri 12 Jul 13

hotel inspector. O.C.C. says...

King Joke wrote:
Why is the TX4 so inefficient? As a regular business traveller I've used some of the alternatives in other UK cities and they are rucking fubbish. The Peugeot E7 is a hastily-converted Partner van with a noisy engine, vibrating body, high floor and low ceiling. The Mercedes (M8 I think) is a converted Vaneo MPV. It's a bit better than the Peugeot but still has a high floor and unsupportive seats. THe TX4 is vastly more comfortable than both, why can't they just fit it with a more efficient engine? Is it the body/chassis construction that makes it heavier?
The Mercedes vito is a purpose built taxi with a 25ft turning circle and fully wheelchair accessible, and far more comfortable than the tx4 with a far better build quality and Euro 5+ engine. I agree the euro taxi Peugeot/fiat is rubbish. Mr Tanner has stated this morning that 80% of pollution on the city centre is caused by buses even with cleaner engines and joint ticketing, so the only way to go now is to restrict bus access to the city centre. Joint ticketing has not worked when you still see buses every few minutes on Cowley and Banbury roads and St Clements street. All of these buses come into the centre. Maybe the only answer (as many commenters on here want) is to close all the businesses in the city centre, and relocate them to the ring road leaving the centre vehicle free for everybody to enjoy the colleges in what would become the biggest museum in the world. Is that what we really want? The way I see it Oxford works quite well as it is and no drastic measures are needed in the real world. But seeing as the dictators in Brussels and the Green Party who want drastic measures taken do not live in the real world, then I fear the worst. I would encourage you all to attend a few council meetings in the town hall so that you can experience first hand how out of touch some council members and members of the public who speak there actually are. It is frightening.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Why is the TX4 so inefficient? As a regular business traveller I've used some of the alternatives in other UK cities and they are rucking fubbish. The Peugeot E7 is a hastily-converted Partner van with a noisy engine, vibrating body, high floor and low ceiling. The Mercedes (M8 I think) is a converted Vaneo MPV. It's a bit better than the Peugeot but still has a high floor and unsupportive seats. THe TX4 is vastly more comfortable than both, why can't they just fit it with a more efficient engine? Is it the body/chassis construction that makes it heavier?[/p][/quote]The Mercedes vito is a purpose built taxi with a 25ft turning circle and fully wheelchair accessible, and far more comfortable than the tx4 with a far better build quality and Euro 5+ engine. I agree the euro taxi Peugeot/fiat is rubbish. Mr Tanner has stated this morning that 80% of pollution on the city centre is caused by buses even with cleaner engines and joint ticketing, so the only way to go now is to restrict bus access to the city centre. Joint ticketing has not worked when you still see buses every few minutes on Cowley and Banbury roads and St Clements street. All of these buses come into the centre. Maybe the only answer (as many commenters on here want) is to close all the businesses in the city centre, and relocate them to the ring road leaving the centre vehicle free for everybody to enjoy the colleges in what would become the biggest museum in the world. Is that what we really want? The way I see it Oxford works quite well as it is and no drastic measures are needed in the real world. But seeing as the dictators in Brussels and the Green Party who want drastic measures taken do not live in the real world, then I fear the worst. I would encourage you all to attend a few council meetings in the town hall so that you can experience first hand how out of touch some council members and members of the public who speak there actually are. It is frightening. hotel inspector. O.C.C.

11:27am Fri 12 Jul 13

King Joke says...

THere are buses every few minutes because that's what people want! The services are operated commercially and people are happy to pay the fares for a decent service. Reducing bus access as you state would leave the city centre as a museum. THis is what has happened in Florence.

If they are causing pollution then we need to wait for the technology to reduce this - we already probably have the cleanest fleet in the country and with repeated fleet replacement it will get clearner. Longer term the we can reduce localised pollution further by conversion of the busiest bus routes to tram or trolleybus operation.

THe Mercedes Vito is not as comfortable for taxi passengers as the TX4 - the seating position and armrests are much more supportive. You feel you are in a small minibus in the Merc, rather than in a taxi. I suspect it's more comfortable for drivers.
THere are buses every few minutes because that's what people want! The services are operated commercially and people are happy to pay the fares for a decent service. Reducing bus access as you state would leave the city centre as a museum. THis is what has happened in Florence. If they are causing pollution then we need to wait for the technology to reduce this - we already probably have the cleanest fleet in the country and with repeated fleet replacement it will get clearner. Longer term the we can reduce localised pollution further by conversion of the busiest bus routes to tram or trolleybus operation. THe Mercedes Vito is not as comfortable for taxi passengers as the TX4 - the seating position and armrests are much more supportive. You feel you are in a small minibus in the Merc, rather than in a taxi. I suspect it's more comfortable for drivers. King Joke

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