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Broad Meadows – A celebration of innovation and countryside into city...by David Simons


A few months ago, I was asked if I would be interested in joining the Inclusive Transport Focus Group by our Wendy.


So, I sat in on the first meeting where it was well attended by all sorts of people - from Councillors to Oxford University, County Council and representatives from different places and walks of life. All have a specific interest in Accessibility issues for people with disabilities.


So far we have reviewed Low Traffic Neighbourhood Proposals, E-Scooters and other traffic innovations to ensure that no-one is left behind and all issues have been fully considered. They are also involved in the planning currently for the regeneration of Oxford Covered Market – so we have a lot to do.


Broad Street was high on the agenda and the proposed ideas which am sure many will now have seen have come to pass if you been watching the local TV news.


Personally, I admit that end of the city is one I do not visit much, between the many shop closures what was there to take me there basically!


The temporary Broad Meadows concept was discussed - creating an inner-city area of calm and tranquillity almost in amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. Some where folk could sit and enjoy the sun in a really accessible way - if we see any more summer of course!


The ultimate aim is to re-invigorate this end of town. Though tourism is down due to current climate it would hopefully create an area of interest for them as well as bringing no doubt welcome business to cafes and shops that end of Cornmarket.


The group, though agenda led by OCC Project Manager Ted Maxwell, was open for all to speak or write their comments and concerns and ideas for this trial event.


Naturally, the safety of people was a major concern whilst also acknowledging it is a main through road area for many cyclists to get to the west of the city. Ideas were discussed how to keep this route open whilst also looking at keeping the pedestrian as safe as could be from bikes and cars, trucks that access the area. Some interesting and useful information was gained from various people who specialised in that field on how to make the area user friendly.


Parking was discussed, how to retain the much valued disabled spaces. Various Councillors offered their expertise which was gratefully received as I certainly felt their view was enlightening and helpful. I got involved in the discussion and felt included and made to feel a part of the large group, welcomed by many people, some previously only seen on TV!


Maybe if successful and well received, the idea can be a more permanent and adapted according to the seasons such as Christmas, Ramadan, Diwali to represent diverse communities whilst educating people on different faiths, activities through the year and giving folk that safe area to express this whilst sat having a coffee and sticky bun while supporting local business in the area.


In the meantime, there are other matters being discussed in the Inclusive Transport Focus Group. I know there are things in the pipeline in my areas, so will be watching with interest as likely to affect me and my own community, as well as the bigger plan wanting to make Oxford a zero-emission zone.

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Just little update re the disabled parking spaces. I was in the meeting this week ready to ask this and was answered anyway! The spaces are there just relocated and 3 if remember rightly are still close to their original slots and the remainder not that far away. The venture is planned till end of September and if successful maybe something could be looked at and discussed further but planning and highway official stuff be more involved as then be a permanent feature.


So far it seems most responses to the area have been positive and encouraging. There have been different things taking place such as Alice in Wonderland day.


Early days still. But seems generally been well received and…

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No worries Brenda. I know disabled parking is important and many rely on such places. Hence I wanted to check. I guess some misinterpreted bit in info along the line. In a way been removed, then just relocated. 😀

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This was very interesting to read - getting to hear from 'someone on the inside' that had developed this concept.

As you know I had posted on the Forum page about this and although it had attracted many views many did not bother to answer 'yes' or 'no' to my question.

I was concerned to see in the Oxford Mail about the loss of four disabled parking places and trust that should this concept become permanent these places will be provided in a nearby area.

Broad Street is not an area I venture to frequently. I do visit Waterstones on the corner and Boswells was somewhere I shopped especially for kitchenware, but there is little to interest me otherwise. Yes,…

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I thought the disabled spots were being relocated for the duration of this trial. As know it was discussed about them and the need for them. It is something I will have to remember to check on as in my view they are needed and well used. My only personal thought and my own view was given how the plan is to reduce cars and emissions in the city whether such spots would remain long term as electric vehicles not about that much just yet.


I could here tell you about our own experience in looking at electric cars as just been through this in choosing our next car. So we will be out of the city centre or be…


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