Connecting Rural

Traditional planning has led to rural areas being disconnected and only accessible by car. By linking villages via a network of cycling and walking routes, villages could collectively grow and become viable and revitalised communities that are less reliant on the car.

Connecting Rural

Increasingly the housing crisis is placing huge pressure to build but with solutions that only concentrate on towns, urban centres and developments along roads. It is clear we need a different approach. Up until now, little thinking has been given to how we support and reinvigorate villages. Traditional planning has led to rural areas being disconnected and only accessible by car. By linking villages via a network of cycling and walking routes, villages could collectively grow and become viable and revitalised communities that are less reliant on the car. This strategy seeks not only to address connectivity but also how we will live and work in the future and how we address climate change.

Walking and cycling as the main forms of transport would shape the way places are designed, the way people connect and enable resilient developments.

Incentives such as walk/cycle to work/school schemes can complement this. Alternatively, bike buses that allow multiple children to travel sustainably would instil a commitment to active travel in young generations while providing social connections.  

Establishing community hubs and work hubs within villages would create an environment that allows residents to connect with others, establishing a shared economy and a shared sense of community supported by a network of community services.

Superfast broadband is necessary to support the shift to working from home and foster creation of rural business. Routes designed for people and not vehicles that link to employment and community facilities are vital to incentivising sustainable travel.

Car-dominated areas can become history by reducing road space and parking, keeping village centres car-free and limiting speeds to create safer environments. Electric car share/hire schemes offer a sustainable alternative to car-ownership for longer journeys not yet accessible by public transport, while local green taxi and bus services will enable sustainable travel for those with less mobility such as the elderly.

Connecting rural Oxfordshire requires the focus to turn back on people, not machines, and thus reshape rural areas into thriving settlements.

What challenges do we face in connecting our rural villages?

How can we ensure we do not allow residents in villages to become isolated?

Do you think these measures would succeed in shifting people from cars to more sustainable modes of transport?

This response was submitted by VeloCity for more information please visit https://velocityplacemaking.co.uk/

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