Seacourt Park & Ride Extension

Our response to the planning application

26 November 2017

The proposal (ref: 16/02745/CT3) to extend Seacourt Park & Ride has become a controversial issue. Oxford’s two MPs and the County Council have opposed it. As part of our normal scrutiny of planning applications we have sent our own response which we reprint here. All our recent submissions are on the ‘Local Applications‘ page.

The proposal

The proposal is for an extension to the existing Seacourt Park and Ride to accommodate

  • new car parking;
  • a single storey building to provide a waiting area and toilets for customers;
  • cycle parking, lighting, CCTV, ticket machines;
  • new pedestrian and cycle access;
  • landscaping;

together with reorganisation of the layout of existing car parking spaces, repositioning of turning circle, bus pickup and drop-off and other works incidental to the development. (additional information)

Our comments

Oxford Civic Society shares the concerns expressed by those who have previously posted public comments. We recognise that relieving congestion on the Botley Road and making the Park and Ride bus service more efficient are important objectives. Improved Park & Ride facilities on the western edge of Oxford should help to achieve these objectives.  Atmospheric pollution in the Botley Road and the central area more generally could be reduced with consequent benefits for public health. However, the existing, traffic light controlled entrance to the Seacourt Park and Ride from the Botley Road is itself a major cause of congestion.   For that reason, the alternative of an entry to the Park and Ride from the A420/A34 roundabout should be considered and this would also permit safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians at the dangerous junction opposite McDonald’s.

Although the planning statement addendum published on 9 November 2017 does deal satisfactorily with some matters, it does not satisfy the NPPF policy that no permanent development should be located in the category 3b flood zone. That policy is important and it is grounded in sound arguments. We therefore recommend that the present application should be refused.  In order to achieve the transport, clean air and health objectives mentioned above, other ways of increasing the capacity of the present site or introducing alternative sites should be prioritised.