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‘Oxford model is the way to move forward’
PEOPLE in Worcester are being let down by failing transport policies, according to a leading politician – who says the city needs to model itself on Oxford.
Councillor Matthew Jenkins, of the Green Party, says council chiefs have not done enough to ease congestion around the city centre and points to the bicycle-friendly Oxford as a model for future policy.
- No more car parks should be built as they only encourage motorists
- Bus services are too expensive and not regular enough
- The city should re-launch efforts to bring park and ride sites to key locations
- More effort should be made to promote cycling
However, the criticism has been rejected by Worcestershire County Council’s leadership, which claims congestion in the city is “nothing” compared to Birmingham or London.
It comes after a survey revealed congestion is the public’s biggest gripe.
Coun Jenkins, a county councillor, said: “There clearly needs to be a rethink into how traffic in Worcester is managed. “If you look at how other similar towns and cities have tried to fix these problems, there is a clear approach I believe Worcester needs to follow.
“Building more car parks will make matters worse – we need to keep more cars out of the city centre, while still allowing people to easily access the shops and businesses within Worcester. If you look at Oxford, for example, the contrast is evident.
“There is a very efficient and relatively inexpensive bus service, there are five park and ride sites, parking in the city centre is expensive and cycling is widely promoted and popular.”
He has called upon council chiefs to “make something like this a reality” in the city, even it if takes more investment.
He says “poor” bus services are “a major factor” in the problems, citing cuts at County Hall which saw routes withdrawn two years ago.
Coun Jenkins also says since the Asda car park opened up down City Walls Road the area is “regularly gridlocked”.
Coun Simon Geraghty, the county council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for the economy, said: “We have regular dialogue with buses – if a route is commercially viable, they will run it and if it isn’t they won’t.
“New park and ride sites don’t feature in our transport plan and I can say for sure, we won’t go down the Oxford route.
“We don’t want to see parking charges going up either – Worcester has congestion but it’s nothing compared to London or Birmingham.”
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