Transport is a key issue in Bicester and improvements to local transport networks are crucial to ensure that people are able to move easily as the town grows. The county council is responsible for the transport strategy for Bicester; planning and delivering a transport network in conjunction with other providers which will support Bicester’s growth.
The Bicester Area Transport Strategy sets out the plans for the entire transport network within the town. Work to update public transport and sustainable travel networks in order to reduce congestion caused by journeys made by car is central to the strategy.
While roads are being improved between residential areas and local employment areas, improvements will also be made to the routes around Bicester to encourage through traffic to use the peripheral routes rather than travelling via the town centre.
Bicester’s rail connections are being upgraded, starting with the line between Oxford and Bicester and a direct connection to London from Bicester Village station, which opened in October 2015. The next stage will connect Bicester with Milton Keynes, Bletchley and Bedford to the north and Didcot and Reading to the south. The East West Rail Consortium is working with the Department for Transport and Network Rail to stress the critical importance of East West Rail to the local, regional and national economy, and still expects the western section to open with services to Milton Keynes and Bedford by the end of 2019.
Park & Ride
The Bicester Park & Ride site, off the A41 at Vendee Drive, opened in November 2015. The site provides 580 spaces and has been provided to help tackle congestion by improving access to high quality public transport. Use of the park and ride site is free of charge for up to 24 hours. It is served by the Stagecoach S5 bus which provides direct links to Bicester and Oxford.
Bicester is also served by a network of inter-urban and ‘local’ buses, connecting the town with Oxford, Kidlington, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Cambridge.
Pedestrians and cyclists
Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists are being explored in line with Oxfordshire County Council policy, the Bicester Sustainable Transport Strategy and the emerging Bicester Masterplan, which forms part of Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan Part 2, due to be adopted before the end of 2017.
The Bicester Wayfinding Project has been set up to develop and implement a comprehensive network of signage, including finger posts and monoliths, which it is hoped will encourage residents and visitors to walk and cycle to destinations across the town. The initiative was launched in spring 2015 by Cherwell District Council in partnership with Bicester Town Council, Oxfordshire County Council and local stakeholders.
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