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This week's letters Oxford not a dying city

Letters

Your article on the Oxford Transport Strategy on 13 January includes a number of assertions from Rescue Oxford which probably give a totally misleading impression of Oxford as an unwelcoming and dying city.

First, the meeting of the Oxford Transport Strategy Sub-committee on 28 January to review the scheme is not being held 'behind closed doors'. Like all meetings of the County and City Councils (it is a joint committee), it is being held in public.

Not only is it being held in

public, but ROX has been specifically invited to the meeting to put its views. High Street is not closed to buses and is open to cars after 6.30pm. The cost of the scheme was not £20M but more like £5M.

Apart from ROX's much-publicised surveys, there have been a number of other surveys carried out in Oxford which appear to contradict their findings. The Oxford Bus Company reports that bus use has increased by 8% since the scheme was implemented in June, and use of the park-and-rides has also increased.

A survey of pedestrians showed that there were more pedestrians in the city centre. An ICM survey, published on 17 January, shows that the majority of shoppers praised the improvement in the city's air quality and noise levels. Forty seven per cent of them had used the park-and-ride to come into Oxford. Seventy seven per cent of them were more than satisfied with the quality and range of shops, but they wanted the shops to stay open longer (including Sundays).

This hardly sounds like a city that is losing business, does it?

Cllr Dermot Roaf, Liberal Democrat Group leader,

Oxfordshire County Council

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