Dear Oxfordshire County Council, please #BuildOxfordBackBetter to keep us safe and make Oxford the UK's number 1 cycling and walking city!

Ian Hudspeth and Yvonne Constance

Build Oxford Back Better

Oxfordshire County Council has £3 million from central government to spend on post-Covid walking and cycling changes. They will be deciding how it is spent through early and mid June.

Sign this petition to demand that the county council helps to #BuildOxfordBackBetter to keep Oxford safe from a second wave of Covid-19 and to turn Oxford into the UK's leading walking and cycling city.

Other cities around the UK are making really exciting improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure. We are worried the county council here are not going to take this chance to make the same bold steps and so we must speak up now to show we want to #BuildOxfordBackBetter.

We call on Oxfordshire County Council to act now with these bold, hopeful and exciting measures, based on local expertise, to improve how we travel and to keep us safe.

This local campaign to #BuildOxfordBackBetter is part of the wider Build Back Better movement.

Click here for more details on Oxford transport plans in Connecting Oxford Plus and the 12 Zero Carbon groups across Oxfordshire who have come together for this campaign.

To: Ian Hudspeth and Yvonne Constance
From: [Your Name]

Dear Ian and Yvonne,

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused devastating loss of life and suffering across Oxfordshire. The lockdown too has caused suffering, both socially and economically. We are grateful for all that Oxfordshire County Council has been doing throughout this period to keep us safe.

As we come out of lockdown, we must do what is necessary to keep people safe and prevent a second wave of Covid-19 while successfully restarting the local economy. Oxford is the most densely populated area of the county and so at highest risk of a second wave. There is now an opportunity to take bold and exciting steps to make changes to the ways people travel from the whole of Oxfordshire into and across Oxford, that will ensure a safe restart to the local economy and be in line with Oxfordshire County Council's declaration of a Climate Emergency made last year.

We are excited to hear reports of plans to pedestrianise Broad Street and St Giles. Building on this, to #BuildOxfordBackBetter, we ask for the following:

1) Implement Connecting Oxford Plus with seven bus gates

Implement all recommendations of 'Connecting Oxford Plus', including all bus gates, in full. This is key to safely opening up the city for walking and cycling. Other cities across the world have implemented these measures with huge positive impacts to business, liveability and the environment. We are worried the city will become jammed with cars if the measures aren't implemented.

2) Implement specific measures for better cycling and walking infrastructure across the city of Oxford

Increase the size of pavements and create segregated cycle lanes on the main arterial roads of Oxford, with clearly marked, continuous cycle lanes in both directions with no cars allowed to park on them, day or night.

3) Create full Park and Pedal schemes at all Park and Ride sites

Bus capacity is much reduced, presenting a big issue for those travelling to work from outside the city. Park and Pedal schemes, with cycle hire, increased cycle parking at Park and Rides, and fully segregated cycle lanes all the way from Park and Rides to the city centre will enable people to get to work without adding more cars to the road and jamming up the city.

Success should be based on increased journeys in Oxford by cycling and walking and so these must be measured.

The ambition for this modal shift to safe, socially distanced, and green transport has been outlined clearly and boldly by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Transport. Other cities and counties around the UK are way ahead of us in their response and these improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure have overwhelming public and business support across Oxfordshire.

Public transport capacity is much reduced due to social distancing. Normally, 31% of journeys in Oxford are taken by bus. If each of these journeys becomes a car journey the space taken up on our roads will exceed maximum capacity by 50% and the city will grind to a halt. We simply cannot let this happen.

Not only are these measures necessary to come out of lockdown safely and to restart the Oxfordshire economy, they have been tried and tested in other cities across the UK and around the world bringing huge benefits to business, to public health, to liveability, and to the environment.

This is a time like no other. Measures unlike any other seen in living history are not only justified but necessary to keep us safe from a second wave of Covid-19. Please take this opportunity to take these bold and exciting steps with us.

City of Oxford residents