Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050

Aspiration 5 - Improve connectivity and movement

53 Much of Oxfordshire benefits from good connections to other parts of the county, into neighbouring areas and to important centres for employment. Other parts of the county are much less well connected both physically and virtually (i.e. broadband facilities). There are also pressures on the current networks that will need to be considered when planning for the next round of growth. Investment in new networks and connections is often very expensive and much of that is funded by the development that it unlocks; in essence this means that providing significant new pieces of infrastructure is only usually realistic where new development is delivered.

54 As the Oxfordshire Plan will look towards 2050, it is important that we don't simply assess proposals against an understanding of current lifestyles, technologies or practice. Whilst we will need to make sure that choices are evidenced and deliverable, we will need to provide some flexibility for adaptations to be made as technological advances occur and habits change. For example, in the earlier part of the plan it is reasonable to assume that a piece of highway infrastructure will serve bus and private car travel; in the later part of the plan it is likely that technologies will have changed offering different mass and personal travel choices and that lifestyles will also have adapted making a rush-hour commute, for example, a thing of the past. This will mean the same piece of highways infrastructure will need to adapt its function and opportunities are likely to arise out of that. Digital infrastructure is already vital to the way businesses and homes operate and this is likely to intensify in the future. It is possible that digital infrastructure will become as or more important than highways infrastructure in the future.

55 The implication of this aspiration is that choices such as the location of new development should be informed by the ability for them to connect into existing networks or be planned at a scale that would support new effective connections or networks. For example, this might mean that development that can either connect into existing transport networks, or which is of a scale that can support its own new public transport connections should be favoured over those which are poorly located or of a scale that wouldn't support the required investment. The plan will need to factor in changing technologies and lifestyles and where possible make provision for more digital connectivity.

Draft Objective 9

To reduce the need to travel and provide better travel choices, ensuring that walking and cycling are convenient and attractive, and that public transport is preferred by residents to private car ownership and use

Draft Objective 10

To promote development in the most sustainable locations and co-locating homes and jobs; then connecting those less sustainable locations through improved public transport and digital networks

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