Option 3: Focus on opportunities in sustainable transport corridors & at strategic transport hubs

Scope & Scale

This option covers new growth based in the most sustainable transport corridors, where frequent bus services operate and rail stations act as transport hubs. This includes new rail stations being planned through strategies such as the Oxfordshire Rail Corridor Study. This option aligns with the emerging Local Transport Connectivity Plan, being prepared by Oxfordshire County Council.

It includes consideration of growth proposals that sit within the main public transport corridors, both rail and bus, linking the rural parts of Oxfordshire with towns and key employment locations and the city itself where the highest density of public transport corridors is focused (and thus not all of the M40 is included). It also takes account of existing and planned key transport hubs. The aim is to align future growth with transport infrastructure investment. The strategy would continue to concentrate Oxfordshire's population through the identified corridors, including the main settlements and potentially at lower order settlements and new settlements within these corridors.

This option does include consideration of new settlements. Development may be generated from transport investment that improves the sustainability of particular locations.

This option focuses on bus and rail corridors for the purpose of considering an option. Vehicles will become much more sustainable over the plan period as the switch to electric accelerates.

Bus Routes

  • Existing: High frequency bus routes and rapid transport routes.
  • New: Need to consider the quantum of growth required to deliver bus routes? A new national bus strategy and bus services implementation plan is due from Government shortly; this is too soon to account for at the Regulation 18 stage and will input at the Regulation 19 stage.


  • Existing: Based on the location of stations (nodes) with a walking/cycling distance buffer around existing stations. Not all stations play an equal role as some are major hubs, others smaller.
  • New: Opportunities related to new stations or improved services at existing stations. A new national rail strategy is due from Government shortly; this is too soon to account for at the Regulation 18 stage and will input at the Regulation 19 stage.


The option fits with the net zero carbon ambitions of the Oxfordshire Plan. Central to the Oxfordshire Plan vision and objectives is the need to address the causes of climate change and to improve the health and wellbeing of communities. Securing growth based on a sustainable transport network will be central to achieving those objectives and this option places the focus and emphasis on growth in areas with good public transport links. Our spatial strategy has moved away from putting the car first.

The focus and emphasis of this option is on the existing public transport network and primarily locations that are connected with Oxford and thus form part of the first/last mile considerations. This option may result in a hub and spoke pattern of development with future growth focussed in areas with good public transport connectivity to Oxford, with new development focused on transport nodes such as Oxford Parkway and the regeneration of Oxford station and growth associated with Culham station and other new stations.

This option also considers wider area connections, such as between Oxfordshire and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, the Thames corridor and M40 corridor, together with the relationship to major settlements close to the plan area, including Swindon and Reading.

This option would focus growth at locations within or connected to the highest concentrations of jobs, affordable housing need and sustainable transport connectivity, to ensure that development was well placed to meet the needs of existing and future communities in a sustainable manner. The emphasis would be on ensuring that future communities, whether part of an expanding settlement or new garden community would be well connected to the sustainable transport network.

This option could support areas where urban renewal, intensification within urban areas, or opportunities for brownfield redevelopment can be triggered by transport improvements (such as new railway stations and extending rail services on the Great Western Line, or following the upgrade to Oxford Station, including the North Cotswold Line, East-West Rail and the line to Didcot) as well as new rapid bus connections and would also take account of the changing nature and role of town centres.

It may result in the establishment of new garden communities where they are well related to existing or planned sustainable transport infrastructure investment such as on the Oxfordshire rail network, not in isolated locations.

This option would closely align with the LTCP vision including active and healthy travel, encouraging healthy choices, promoting the use of public transport and improved regional and local connectivity.

The option considers 'Connectivity for all', not just those who are able to drive. Public transport provisions meet the needs of younger and older people, those with disabilities & those on lower incomes.


Opportunities and sustainability gains to be secured where growth is considered include:

  • Concentration around sustainable transport nodes and supporting sustainable travel movement
  • Opportunities for multi modal travel and integrated transport networks
  • Enhancing sustainable transport and building on existing infrastructure
  • Links to OxIS and existing planned infrastructure where capacity allows
  • Decarbonising the transport network
  • Establishment of new settlements in sustainable locations
  • The potential to create new and/or improved sustainable transport hubs/corridors.
  • Strengthened community services and facilities in most accessible locations
  • Meeting the needs of an ageing population
  • Addressing existing deprivation
  • Securing brownfield redevelopment
  • Addressing the changing role of town centres
  • Meeting affordable housing needs where they arise
  • Supporting a mixed economy – balancing jobs and housing growth.
  • Distributing growth away from locations that have experienced significant growth in first phase of plan and are allocated through adopted local plans.
  • Securing '20 minutes neighbourhoods'
  • Extended walking and cycling provision including connections to regional routes.
  • Moving away from car dependent developments.

Option 3 - Focus on opportunities in sustainable transport corridors & at strategic transport hubs.

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