October 26th, 2008
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Welcome to November Newsletter
Dennis Lovett now retired after 35 years service
Last day, last duty …Well done Dennis you are a credit to the bus industry. enjoy a very long retirement
all the best from all your workmates in Aylesbury Depot
Showbus at Duxford
Click below for online album taken by David Venn
courtesy of David Venn
New icon as the main footbridge support is unveiled
The main support for the footbridge linking the town centre is unveiled
All Oxford services 280 and 261 will now revert to normal route as the roadworks have now been completed
Courtesy of the Bucks Herald
THREE main roads in Aylesbury will be closed to traffic from 8pm to 5.30 am for several weeks from Monday.
Friarage Road, Great Western Street and Walton Street will be closed to traffic from October 27 to November 14 to allow essential road resurfacing work connected with the Aylesbury transport hub to take place. The road closures will be in force between 8pm and 5.30am Monday to Friday only. Friarage Road will be closed between the two Station way roundabouts, access to Market Square and the area around the Civic Centre during the road closures will be via Buckingham Street. Fully signed diversion routes will be in place.
Buses will be unable to access the bus station while roads are closed, therefore bus departures after 8pm are transferred to Exchange Street except routes Water Rider WR6 and Green Route 4 – which have their last buses departing at 8.07pm and 8.10pm respectively. Normal daytime services will resume each morning at the bus station in time for regular morning services. Notices will be displayed on site and passengers should check these but the bus services affected (with their Exchange Street bus stop number) are:
Silver Rider SR1, Fairford Leys – E3
Blue Route 2, Bedgrove/Haydon Hill -E1
Red Route 9, Walton Court/S.M.Hospital – E3
61/61A, Ivinghoe – E2
Line 280, Thame / Oxford – E2
Line 300, P.Risboro/High Wycombe – E2
The taxi rank in Walton Street will generally operate as normal and the disabled parking spaces outside the library will be unaffected – although access to these areas will be subject to the same road closures and associated diversions after 8pm. All exclusively noisy work will end by 11pm.
Anne James, Service Manager for Strategic Transport Services, said: "We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but have tried to minimise disruption by keeping necessary road closures to the evening and nighttime. This is a complex project and some disruption is inevitable, however these changes will make a massive difference to Aylesbury town centre."
Courtesy of Oxford and Chiltern bus page
Well worth a visit
Creating a better city Oxford
Oxfordshire County Council web sire reveals exciting plans to transform the centre of Oxford’s streets, to consolidate the city as a world class economic centre while enhancing its status as an international heritage site.
There are currently too many buses, dirty, cluttered streets and poor quality paving.
We want to achieve the standard of pedestrian experience that the city deserves, while maintaining good access for everyone. It is a bold challenge and it will build on work begun almost 10 years ago with the introduction of the original Oxford Transport Strategy.
We want to create:
? excellent access for all
? great shopping
? exciting spaces
? a safe environment
? cleaner air.
Queen Street interim scheme – summer 2009
· · reduction in bus flows
· · relocate all bus stops from Queen Street
· · more pedestrian space
· · interim landscaping scheme
· · significant improvement in air quality.
George Street/Magdalen Street pedestrianisation – summer 2010
? full pedestrianisation
? great opportunities for outdoor cafés and restaurants
? linked pedestrianisation of New Inn Hall Street and St Michael’s Street
? high quality landscaping scheme
? significant improvement in air quality.
George Street and Magdalen Street in the future – click to enlarge
Broad Street – 2010
Implementing the Broad Street Plan in partnership with the Broad Street Plan Group, including:
? high quality landscaping scheme
? exciting pedestrian and public space.
Frideswide Square redesign – 2011
? a complete reworking of this junction creating a stunning public space and gateway to the city centre from the west
? removal of all traffic lights from the square
? more flexibility for city centre traffic routeing options.
A radical rethink of the management of buses from the east of the city centre to achieve:
? major reduction in bus flows in High Street and St Aldate’s
? creation of a pedestrian zone in High Street, St Aldate’s and other streets
? fully pedestrianised Queen Street
? re-routed express coaches
? smarter bus ticketing.
A bold vision
Keith Mitchell, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council
For County Council Leader Keith Mitchell these plans signify the realisation of a long-held dream:
“Oxford is one of the most famous cities in the world and we must use our best brains and talents to help it thrive and grow. At the same time, one of the things that makes it so famous is its heritage so we have to balance planning for a successful, sustainable future with making sure we preserve its splendid past. When faced with managing modern traffic levels, on a street pattern established in medieval times, that is a challenge indeed.
“We think we can greatly improve the pedestrian experience whilst maintaining excellent access for everyone, however they choose to travel. “It will take not just a bold vision but also mature negotiation and compromise, to secure a solution of which we can all be proud.”
Ian Hudspeth, Cabinet Member for Transport
"We will, of course, seek views from local people, business and interested parties and there will be detail to be discussed. However, nobody should doubt our overall commitment to these improvements. We have the bit between our teeth and we want to give Oxford every chance to thrive in what look like being prolonged difficult economic times.
"Our work on High Street and St Aldate’s will also lead to radical change and we will also pedestrianise Queen Street fully at that time. I am every bit as determined to see those changes as those we plan for 2009 and 2010. On top of our 20mph speed limit proposals and introduction of free park and ride parking for Oxford, the county council is demonstrating a zeal to make Oxford as safe and welcoming a place as possible."
Philip Kirk, Managing Director at the Oxford Bus Company
"We’ve had initial discussions with the county council and, overall, we are enthusiastic about helping to bring improvements to the central area. As Councillor Mitchell has said, we now need to conduct some very detailed negotiations to get the balance of measures right, to ensure the continued economic wellbeing of the city, as well as preserving its historic core."
Martin Sutton, Managing Director of Stagecoach in Oxfordshire
"We are now at the start of a lot of hard work to see how these issues can be resolved. People should remember that Oxford has the highest level of bus use in any similar city in the U.K. It is vital we find ways of making improvements to the city centre without disadvantaging people who use buses, particularly the elderly."
Mr Sutton saw the High Street as one posing the greatest difficulties since there is no suitable alternative route into the city from the east."
Jeremy Mogford, Chairman of the High Street Business Association and owner of the Old Bank Hotel,
"I am very pleased that the county council is thinking longer-term about the city of Oxford and what makes it unique and important. I trust that the removal of most of the buses is an integral part of the vision for this historic part of Oxford."
Debbie Dance, Oxford Preservation Trust
"Oxford’s buildings and the spaces between them are so important to its character. These plans will undoubtedly help retain and improve that wonderful mixture of historic splendour and forward-looking vibrance that helps make Oxford the wonderful place that it is."
Richard Alden, Chairman of the Oxford Covered Market Tenants Association
"Any initiative that promotes the well-being of pedestrian shoppers in Oxford has to be a good thing. We need good future planning on which people can hang their plans for the Oxford retail and commercial economy."
Tell the County what you think
In the coming months, the county will be consulting on their plans to transform central Oxford’s streets. In the meantime, they would welcome your views. Fill in this online form to give them your initial comments and register your interest in receiving consultation details when they are available. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Freepost Oxfordshire County Council (no further address required).
Comment on this from The Oxford Times reveals:
Oxford may get ‘super buses’
Giant ‘super buses’ ferrying people through the city centre could hold the key to plans to pedestrianise much of central Oxford.
Transport managers say the way to reduce bus numbers coming into the city is to have super buses picking up passengers at a new terminus near Magdalen Bridge or South Park.
Buses capable of carrying up to four normal bus loads are being looked at as part of a radical transport package that Oxfordshire County Council says would transform the city centre.
The council this week unveiled ambitious proposals to pedestrianise George Street, Magdalen Street, Broad Street and Queen Street over a five-year period.
But it has emerged that the council also has radical plans to reduce the number of bus journeys in the High Street, regarded as the biggest challenge for transport planners.
With no practical alternative route for buses bringing in tens of thousands of people into the city centre from the east, the council believes fleets of high-capacity buses could reduce bus flows in the High by 50 per cent.
An elaborate scheme is being investigated that would involve passengers arriving at The Plain or London Place, before transferring on to giant state-of-the-art vehicles.
A council document says there is scope at both locations to create a landscaped terminus. "Travel onwards into the city centre would then be a very high capacity transfer bus or on foot, or possibly a hired bike."
The council says transfer points or termini at London Place or The Plain could be created without any demolition of buildings or the construction of giant roundabouts.
The briefing document, entitled Where Will Buses Go?, says: "Improving the environment in High Street and St Aldate’s is perhaps our biggest challenge. We need to reduce the number o
f buses using the street, but not the number of passengers."
It says one alternative to creating a transfer terminus east of Magdalen Bridge is to have bigger buses and fewer services. It is also proposed that express coaches to London and the airports would be re-routed.
County council cabinet member for transport, Ian Hudspeth, said giant buses were already operating in York, one of the cities that inspired the new bid to transform Oxford into a pedestrian friendly city. But Oxford’s would be more state-of-the-art than York’s FTR buses and the bendy buses operating in London.
He also stressed that plans to pedestrianise George Street and Magdalen Street in 2010 were not dependent on the introduction of larger capacity buses. The first steps to reduce bus numbers will begin next year in Queen Street, where pavements will be widened and bus stops removed. Queen Street, however, will only become fully pedestrianised in the second stage of the scheme, between 2011-13.
Your Editor’s comments
There is no doubt that some of Oxford’s main streets are congested with traffic but it is not all buses. Reading the plans I wonder how deliveries are to be made to the shops, especially those bordering the High Street?
The talk of an elaborate scheme is being investigated that would involve passengers arriving at The Plain or London Place, before transferring on to giant state-of-the-art vehicles is all a seemingly great idea but where will the space be made to do this?
The rerouting of the coaches serving London and the Airports would seem, on the face of it, a good idea but at this time Queen’s Lane and St. Clements are very popular stops, especially with the students who often have heavy baggage which would not lend itself to "double handling" using feeder bus services.
Elderly people represent a large proportion of the travelling public during the daytime hours and the super bendi-buses used in York and Leeds only gain in passenger numbers by having large numbers standing for the journey from a transfer point on the edge of the inner city. Is this what elderly people need?
It will be most interesting to see how these plans develop.
Courtesy of Aylesburyvibe
Roadworks on A41
Construction work on the access road to Aylesbury Vale Parkway started on Monday 20 October. The new roundabout on the A41 and the new road will allow passengers to access the new railway station for its opening in December 2008. The works are the final aspect of the project to start and will connect the station to the roads network.
The works involve the construction of a new four-arm roundabout, located 200m east of the existing Fleet Marston railway bridge; utilities will be diverted around the roundabout, and the first 250 metres of a new road that gives access to the new Parkway rail station will be built.
Work started on 20 October and is expected to last until February 2009, with access to Aylesbury Vale Parkway by 14 December 2008. Every effort will be made to minimise any disruption to traffic using the A41. Delays are expected but lane restrictions will be kept to the minimum. The A41 will only be reduced to a single lane and use temporary traffic signals during weekday off-peak periods, from 9.30am to 3.30pm. Some works will also be undertaken at night, between between 7pm and 6.30am. There may also be some works undertaken on Saturdays to achieve the required deadline, but none are planned at this stage. Temporary traffic signals will be installed on Wednesday 22 October and again on 30 & 31 October 2008.
Buckinghamshire County Council apologises for inconvenience that the works may cause to road users.
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