Dear Oxfordshire County Council,

Oxfordshire County Council's "connecting Oxford" plan has long included plans for "bus gates" (traffic filters) around the city. However, the latest iteration of the plan, published recently, also included a new location for a planned bus gate - St Clements. I want to understand why this location has now been added to the Connecting Oxford plan, who was involved in selecting it and, ideally, the precise suggested location for it. Please therefore provide me with all OCC discussions (meeting minutes, emails etc) that ultimately ended up with St Clements being added to the Connecting Oxford plan. The timescale for my enquiry is 1 November 2021 to today's date.

The main focus on my enquiry is internal OCC discussions regarding the St Clement's bus gate. However, given that Oxfordshire Liveable Streets (OLS) have long promoted the addition of another bus gate on St Clements, please include all correspondence and discussions between OCC and representatives of Oxfordshire Liveable Streets (including, but not limited to, Scott Urban and Danny Yee) in your information sweep. I want to understand the intensity of the discussions between OLS and OCC, and the level of influence that OLS has on OCC policy making and transport planning design, by specific reference to the St Clements Bus gate plan, and how this bus gate location came to be OCC policy.

https://oxlivsts.org.uk/2020/06/17/ols-s...

Yours faithfully,

Richard Parnham

FOI Team, Oxfordshire County Council

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FOI - E&E, Oxfordshire County Council

1 Atodiad

Our reference: 20249 EIR

                                                          

Dear Mr Parnham,

Thank you for your correspondence received on 15 August 2022 in which you
asked for the following information:

 

Oxfordshire County Council's "connecting Oxford" plan has long included
plans for "bus gates" (traffic filters) around the city. However, the
latest iteration of the plan, published recently, also included a new
location for a planned bus gate - St Clements. I want to understand why
this location has now been added to the Connecting Oxford plan, who was
involved in selecting it and, ideally, the precise suggested location for
it. Please therefore provide me with all OCC discussions (meeting minutes,
emails etc) that ultimately ended up with St Clements being added to the
Connecting Oxford plan. The timescale for my enquiry is 1 November 2021 to
today's date.

 

The main focus on my enquiry is internal OCC discussions regarding the St
Clement's bus gate. However, given that Oxfordshire Liveable Streets (OLS)
have long promoted the addition of another bus gate on St Clements, please
include all correspondence and discussions between OCC and representatives
of Oxfordshire Liveable Streets (including, but not limited to, Scott
Urban and Danny Yee) in your information sweep. I want to understand the
intensity of the discussions between OLS and OCC, and the level of
influence that OLS has on OCC policy making and transport planning design,
by specific reference to the St Clements Bus gate plan, and how this bus
gate location came to be OCC policy.

 

[1]https://oxlivsts.org.uk/2020/06/17/ols-s...

 

 

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information
requested as soon as possible and in any event within the next 20 working
days in compliance with the Environmental Information Regulations
2004/Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless an exception applies. This
means that the council will respond to you by the end of 13 September 2022
at the latest.

 

If appropriate, the information requested can be made available in
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know.

 

Please contact me if you have any have further enquiries about your
request. I would be grateful if you could quote the reference number given
at the top of this email.

 

Kind regards

 

Renata Malinowski

Freedom of Information Support Officer

 

Voice of the Customer Team

Customers and Organisational Development

 

Oxfordshire County Council

Email:  [2]FOI-E&[email address]

[3]www.oxfordshire.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save money and paper - do you really need to print this email.

 

 

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FOI - E&E, Oxfordshire County Council

Our reference:  20249 EIR

 

Dear Mr Parnham,

 

Thank you for your request of 15 August 2022 in which you asked for
information regarding the Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘connecting Oxford’
plan.  Please find our response to your questions below in bold:

 

• Oxfordshire County Council's "connecting Oxford" plan has long
included plans for "bus gates" (traffic filters) around the city.
However, the latest iteration of the plan, published recently, also
included a new location for a planned bus gate - St Clements. I want
to understand why this location has now been added to the Connecting
Oxford plan, who was involved in selecting it and, ideally, the
precise suggested location for it. Please therefore provide me with
all OCC discussions (meeting minutes, emails etc) that ultimately
ended up with St Clements being added to the Connecting Oxford plan.
The timescale for my enquiry is 1 November 2021 to today's date.

 

 

 

• The main focus on my enquiry is internal OCC discussions regarding the
St Clement's bus gate. However, given that Oxfordshire Liveable
Streets (OLS) have long promoted the addition of another bus gate on
St Clements, please include all correspondence and discussions between
OCC and representatives of Oxfordshire Liveable Streets (including,
but not limited to, Scott Urban and Danny Yee) in your information
sweep. I want to understand the intensity of the discussions between
OLS and OCC, and the level of influence that OLS has on OCC policy
making and transport planning design, by specific reference to the St
Clements Bus gate plan, and how this bus gate location came to be OCC
policy.

 

Having carried out a thorough search we have established that Oxfordshire
County Council does not hold the information you requested.

 

The St Clement’s traffic filter is expected to result in traffic reduction
benefits in that area of the city and to ensure the introduction of other
proposed traffic filters does not lead to more traffic using St Clement’s.

 

Changes like this are part of the evolution of the proposals in response
to feedback, modelling and other assessments and until the Council’s
Cabinet makes a decision to implement six filters, no such decision has
been made.

 

 

 

 

 

Internal review

If you are dissatisfied with the service or response to your request, you
can ask for an internal review as follows:

 

• Contact the Freedom of Information team in Customers and
Organisational Development:  [1][Oxfordshire County Council request email] 
• Write to the Freedom of Information team at the FREEPOST address:

Freedom of Information Team
Oxfordshire County Council
FREEPOST RTLL-ECKS-GLUA
Oxford OX1 1YA

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Please let me know if you have further enquiries. I would be grateful if
you could use the reference number given at the top of this email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Austin Nwadike

Project Manager

Oxfordshire County Council 

Email: [3][email address]

[4]www.oxfordshire.gov.uk

 

 

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Dear Oxfordshire County Council,

Please review your reply. it is beyond credibility that a planned new bus gate / traffic filter does not simply wink into existence, in a significant extension to a long-planned scheme, without any internal documentation between 1 November 2021 and 15 August 2022.

There is an entire governance structure around active travel, which must have made these decisions. Councillors must have been involved. Even the press team will need to have been involved, perhaps with drafting of a Q&A about how the St Clement's scheme came to happen. And, as we all know, Oxfordshire Liveable Streets have long promoted this scheme - and it's unlikely that no one from the organisation will have communicated with the council about this idea within my requested information timeframe.

Please check again, throughly.

Please also note that, because I live between two planned traffic filters, Marston Ferry Road and now St Clement's, I will have "standing" to complain to the Information Commissioner's office if you continue to deny that any correspondence / meeting minutes etc exist. And that's before we get into the subject of litigation, and eDisclosure....

Yours faithfully,

Richard Parnham

FOI - E&E, Oxfordshire County Council

1 Atodiad

Our reference: 20249 EIR IR

 

Dear Mr Parnham,

 

In accordance with the council's Freedom of Information policy, I will
arrange for an internal review of your request to be undertaken.

 

The review will be undertaken by a manager not involved in the original
handling of your request. In line with guidance from the Information
Commissioner’s Office, we will aim to provide a full response within 20
working days beginning the day your complaint was received. This means you
will receive a response by 10 ctober 2022.

 

Kind regards,

Renata Malinowski

 

Freedom of Information Support Officer

Email: [1]E&[email address] and
[2][email address]

 

 

 

 

Save money and paper - do you really need to print this email.

 

 

This email, including attachments, may contain confidential information.
If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by reply and
delete it immediately. Views expressed by the sender may not be those of
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Information Act 2000. [3]email disclaimer. For information about how
Oxfordshire County Council manages your personal information please see
our [4]Privacy Notice.

References

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FOI - E&E, Oxfordshire County Council

2 Atodiad

Our reference: 20249 EIR IR

 

Dear Mr Parnham,

 

Thank you for your email dated 14 September 2022. As you have indicated
that you are not satisfied with the response made by the County Council,
the issue has been referred to me to conduct an internal review.

 

My investigation

 

I have completed the internal review and have looked at the whole request
afresh. I have also looked at how the original response was handled.  On
that latter point, I can see that we replied within the statutory
timeframe. 

 

Having looked at your original request and response again I can confirm
that the Council does not hold the information you requested within the
timeframe you specified. However, if we extend the timeframe, we do hold
relevant information.

 

In autumn 2019, the Council consulted on the "Connecting Oxford"
proposals, which included five traffic filters. These proposals are
summarised here:

 

The Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel (which includes
Oxfordshire Liveable Streets) responded to this consultation.  In their
response (attached), they said:

 

"There may need to be additional traffic filters (beyond the five) so that
through routes are prevented, (e.g., near St Clements)”.

 

A report on the scheme was considered by the Council’s Cabinet on 21
January 2020. The [1]papers for the meeting included a [2]summary of the
consultation results, including the following statement on page 67 (footer
numbering):

 

Item number 9/20 Connecting Oxford:
[3]https://mycouncil.oxfordshire.gov.uk/ieL...

 

“Some felt that Iffley Road and St Clements could become a new alternative
route for journeys to and from the Marston and Headington areas. As such
additional traffic restriction points were suggested to tackle this for
example St Clements, Donnington Bridge Road, various residential streets.”

 

Paragraph 43 of the main report refers to the next stage of work:

 

“Officers consider that many of the concerns raised at this stage could be
addressed and mitigated through careful design of the proposals. And so,
in light of feedback received, it is recommended that the following
aspects of proposals are considered further and as part of the detailed
scheme design and business case. This will also include further engagement
and consultation (as outlined further below) to ensure proposals meet
wider objectives but also provide transport and environmental benefits to
those directly affected including residents, employees, or employers.

 

Traffic restrictions

 

• The exact location of the traffic restriction points;
• Whether further restrictions or other traffic management schemes are
• required;
• The timing of the restrictions to determine when they should operate
including consideration of these operating all day or just part-time.
• Whether there should be further exemptions and how these would be
administered in practice; and
• The supporting transport strategy.”

 

Cabinet’s [4]decision was to approve the report’s recommendations.

 

In line with this decision, the proposals were developed further during
2020 and 2021, including transport modelling.

 

In September 2021, options for additional traffic filters were presented
to the relevant city and county council Cabinet members (see slides ‘Sep
2021 options for additional filters’ attached) – including:

 

•         Cllr Tom Hayes and Cllr Alex Hollingsworth (Oxford City Council)

•         Cllr Tim Bearder and Cllr Duncan Enright (Oxfordshire County
Council)

 

We do not hold a note of this meeting, but it was agreed that options for
additional filters (including the St Clements filter) should be developed
further.

 

You will note that the September 2021 slides include options for four
additional filters on London Place (near St Clements), Gipsy Lane,
Warneford Lane and Windmill Road, as well as residential road closures in
Headington.  Some of these proposals were incorporated (albeit in a
different form) in the Low Traffic Neighbourhood programme.  In December
2021, a [5]report on East Oxford LTNs was considered by the Leader of the
Council (in lieu of the Cabinet Member for Highway Management), who
[6]decided to approve the recommendations.

 

The development of the “Connecting Oxford” traffic filter proposals
continued following this decision, leading to the [7]announcement of
updated proposals in February 2022.  These proposals included only one
additional traffic filter, at St Clements, because: 

 

• A filter at Warneford Lane isn’t needed if the East Oxford LTN is in
place and is made permanent, and officers consider filters at Windmill
Road and Gipsy Lane are not required as these routes are not directly
affected by the East Oxford LTN or the traffic filters proposed on
other main routes.

 

• However, if made permanent, the East Oxford LTN would (in combination
with the other five traffic filters excluding St Clements) leave St
Clements as the only available route inside the ring road between
Iffley/Cowley Road and Marston/Headington.  Clearly this would
increase traffic in St Clements significantly.

 

The project is still being developed in line with the January 2020 Cabinet
decision, which included reference to developing traffic filters
additional to the five filters included in the autumn 2019 consultation. 
No formal decisions in relation to the traffic filters have been required
or taken since January 2020, although city and county council Cabinet
members have been kept updated on the development of the proposals.

 

I hope this helps to clarify the process by which the St Clements filter
came to be included in the proposals.  A decision on the scheme (including
the St Clements filter) will be taken in November 2022, when the outcomes
of the current consultation and the technical work will be reported.

 

 

The Information Commissioner

 

I trust that this information now satisfies your request.  However, if you
remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint, you
have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: [8]https://ico.org.uk/

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aron Wisdom

Programme Lead

Transport and Infrastructure

Oxfordshire County Council

Email: [9][email address]

[10]www.oxfordshire.gov.uk

 

 

This email, including attachments, may contain confidential information.
If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by reply and
delete it immediately. Views expressed by the sender may not be those of
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Oxfordshire County Council manages your personal information please see
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Dear Oxfordshire County Council,

Thank you for this. I have one final question. Please clarify who was the author of the second paper provided to me. Was it the council, CoHSAT or some other party? This one, which you mentioned below.

"In September 2021, options for additional traffic filters were presented
to the relevant city and county council Cabinet members (see slides ‘Sep
2021 options for additional filters’ attached) – including:
• Cllr Tom Hayes and Cllr Alex Hollingsworth (Oxford City Council)
• Cllr Tim Bearder and Cllr Duncan Enright (Oxfordshire County
Council)
We do not hold a note of this meeting, but it was agreed that options for
additional filters (including the St Clements filter) should be developed
further.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Parnham