A petition launched by Bicester and District Labour Party in Bicester market on Saturday (13 Sept 2014) demanding that Oxfordshire County Council honour its original plans to complete the Bicester ring road at Howes Lane, attracted 200 signatures by lunchtime, and a further 340 online.
Steve Uttley, Chair of Bicester Labour Party says the problem is with revised council plans, which will turn Howes Lane into a ‘green way’ and move it into the new eco town.
He went on to say, “The current proposal will mean that the last link in the Bicester ring road will go through residential areas, past the proposed new primary and secondary school, business park and a new local shopping centre, with a 30 mph speed limit.
It will mean that traffic, including extra cars from the Eco Town and heavy traffic from the business park, will continue to use Banbury and Buckingham Road plus Bucknell Road, Shakespeare Drive and Middleton Road as the quickest way to Bicester Village and the M40.”
Banbury Labour’s parliamentary candidate Sean Woodcock signed the petition and said, “Bicester is on its way to becoming the second largest town in the county and is set to become one of the fastest growing parts of the South-East, yet it has the infrastructure of a quiet market town. This petition and campaign is important to ensure that the people of Bicester do not suffer from rapid development without the necessary improvements to infrastructure in place.”
Tom Bucknell who regularly visits his parents in Bicester signed the petition and commented on how difficult it is even now for people in wheelchairs to cross the main roads through Bicester, saying – “We need pedestrian lights at the bottom of Bucknell Road to cross Buckingham Road”.
Bicester resident Chris Howells said, “Widening Howes Lane as originally proposed, and keeping a 50 mph limit would give a quick route for traffic from outside the town around Bicester to the M40, Bicester Village and the proposed Park & Ride. Further it would distribute Eco-town traffic to and from the south, remove traffic in and out of the business park and from the town’s roads, and reduce congestion in the centre of Bicester. Finally, it would be safer for Eco Town residents themselves, especially children given the location of the new schools.”
Sylvia Howells said, “This has been an exciting day and an important one to raise Bicester Labour Party’s profile. People are looking for a way to get their views across and we’ve heard a range of concerns in addition to the road traffic issues, which we will be addressing in the coming months.
The petition: We the undersigned believe that Howes Lane should be improved and widened to properly complete the ring road around Bicester. The proposal to move Howes Lane and create a 30 mph boulevard, through the new Eco Town, will force the people of Bicester to drive through the centre of town creating more traffic on an already congested route.