Frideswide Square Transport & Public Realm scheme - Main Square Formal Consultation

Oxfordshire County Council is seeking views on Traffic Regulation Orders and landscaping proposals to allow the transformation of Frideswide Square in front of the Rail Station.

 

Background

 

Frideswide Square is one of Oxford’s highest profile public areas and is a vital meeting point of major road routes into the city from the north, west and south. Tens of thousands of cars, buses, cyclists and pedestrians pass through each day and the area of course also presents the first point of welcome to the millions of rail passengers who arrive in Oxford each year.

 

We are carrying out a major transport and public realm project to change Frideswide Square from a busy and unwelcoming road junction to a well-managed gateway to the city. This work will improve traffic flow, reduce journey times and provide a new, attractive public space with far better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

The new Frideswide Square will be a modern gateway to the city in keeping with its status as a world class city to visit, work and do business.  It is one of a number of proposed major developments that will transform the west end of the city centre including the new Oxford Station Masterplan and the planned redevelopment of Oxpens and the Westgate Centre.

 

What are we consulting on? 

1.    Soft and Hard Landscaping proposals 

We are asking people to give us their views on the latest hard and soft landscaping proposals for a transformed Frideswide Square.

The landscaping proposals need to make the most of the space that the road layout has created in front of the building frontages.  The lines of modest height trees through the middle reinforce the principle of providing a ‘Boulevard’ road through the middle of the square, helping to create a simple layout, drawing the eye through the space and taking advantage of the views in and out of the square.  The trees would also serve to protect the larger open public spaces from the busy traffic activity that still has to take place in the centre of the space. 

The rest of the landscaping in the square could be lower level and intended to allow flexibility for how people will use it.  There could be low level seating along the planters and with some fixed seating also provided.  Elsewhere the proposals could allow other well managed activities to take place from time to time or even on a more permanent basis – such as pop up market stalls, art displays, café seating.  The rest of the space could allow one off events such as open air cinema of theatre or larger public gatherings.  All of these activities would be carefully managed by the councils in consultation with local residents and building owners.  The councils are in discussions with stakeholders about how public art could form part of the square’s design.

Below is an artist impression of the landscaping in Frideswide Square.

General Layout

GeneralLayoutDrawing

Birds eye view

Brids eye view

View from Park End Street - looking west

View from Park End Street looking west

View from the rail station entrance - looking east

View from rail station entrance - looking east 

 

2.    Traffic regulation Orders (TROs) 

To allow us to build the scheme the county council needs to consult on TROs to: 

Restrict parking and loading activity in the square in order to keep traffic flowing through the area.  We are proposing to introduce a Restricted Zone that means parking and loading will only be allowed within marked bays.  This means that we will not need lots of double yellow lines and large sign plates.  This approach has been taken elsewhere in the city e.g. New Inn Hall Street.  Loading will be allowed in specially created bays at the north end of both Becket Street and Hollybush Row. 

Remove the existing bus only area opposite the Said Business School 

Remove various restricted turns and no entry signs

 

3.    Cycling on some areas of the square 

It has frequently been suggested that cycling should be allowed on the central areas of the two largest public spaces in the square. This is to help less confident cyclists to negotiate their way through the square away from traffic – even though overall the square will be significantly better to cycle in than at the present time.  Also some people will want to take more direct and convenient routes through the square – avoiding being held up by going through all the junctions and crossing points.  We believe that the areas highlighted on the plan are sufficiently large to allow cyclists and pedestrians to share them comfortably and safely.  The areas will have carefully designed paving slabs repeated through them showing cycle and pedestrian symbols.  These will ensure all users to realise that cyclists are allowed to be pedalling through.

 

Please give us your views

Please give us your views on these proposals by filling in our consultation form. Council officers will consider them carefully before recommending a way forward on the scheme.  A decision is due to be taken by the county council’s Cabinet about the TROs and the shared cycling areas on 21 October 2014.

 

More information on this scheme and regular updates can be found at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/frideswidesquare

This consultation has now closed.

Timeline

  • Opened
    14 Aug 2014 at 10:00
  • Closed
    12 Sep 2014 at 23:59

Details

Contact Name Andy Warren & Paul Gannon
Contact Email Address Andy.warren@oxfordshire.gov.uk - Paul.gannon@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Contact Phone Number 01865 815835
Contact Postal Address Highways and Transport
Oxfordshire County Council
Speedwell House
Speedwell Street
Oxford
OX1 1NE

Consultation Topic
  • Roads & transport
Target Audience
  • Oxfordshire residents
Geographical Area
  • Oxford City