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Oxford Conservative Association commends Oxfordshire County Council on its decision today to scrap plans to implement temporary bus gates in Oxford.

The council’s cabinet today decided to unanimously support the recommendation of the Director of Planning not to proceed with the bus gates and to further consult on the other proposed bus gates.

Oxford Conservatives Chairman Mark Bhagwandin said: “We have both written and spoken to the county council about the bus gates. We are pleased to see that councillors have listened to the views of businesses and residents who would have been directly affected by them. We commend them for refusing to bow to pressure from the Labour city council to implement the bus gates. We also urge the county council to rethink its collaboration with the city council in the Reconnecting Oxford Plan which still seeks to implement five permanent bus gates. These along with the other two proposed for funding under Tranche 2 of the Active Travel Grant, should be scrapped.

It is absolutely necessary that the livelihood of thousands of workers are not put at risk by schemes like these which could have a devastating effect on businesses already reeling from the effects of Covid-19. Representatives of those businesses spoke out passionately against the bus gates today and they should be listened to.

We maintain that bus gates will result in longer journey times and increased congestion with traffic being forced on to the ring road, both causing higher levels of emissions and pollution. We can imagine situations where emergency workers travelling in to work are held up in lengthy journeys thereby affecting key and critical services. Oxford Conservatives stand ready to champion and support sensible measures which actually do protect the environment. The bus gates proposed for Oxford are senseless and disruptive and do not achieve this end. They will cause great hardships for residents and businesses and put people’s jobs at risk.

Oxford Conservatives will always put people above politics and all other considerations. We commend the county council for its decision today.”