Frideswide Square in Oxford used to look quite grey and extremely busy, with a daily average of 30,000 cars and buses, 2,700 cyclists and 1,300 pedestrians. This western gateway to Oxford City needed to be more attractive for the estimated 6.6 million-people commuting via Oxford train station every year.
In March 2012, Oxfordshire Cabinet approved the “Boulevard” option after many years of public consultation (i.e. bus companies, University of Oxford, traders, residents and the public) run in parallel with an urban and landscape design analysis along with traffic modelling.
The objective was to create a “shared use space” with one single lane of traffic in each direction along one central boulevard island purposely-built for emergency services.
Frideswide Square – Key Features
The key features of this £6.7m scheme that was completed mid-December 2015 are:
- A simple, uncluttered highway layout through free-flowing roundabouts replacing six lanes of signalised traffic
- a constant average speed of 12-15mph
- 8m-wide courtesy pedestrian crossings
- reduced vehicle journey times through the square in the square and on its approaches
- more sustainable and safer transport for all
- enhanced materials and landscaping to improve the public realm with contrasting colours i.e. Yorkstone slabs, and granite kerbs, seats and planters
- efficient and new LED street lighting
- new semi-mature trees and hedges in the planters
- a stronger sense of place and offer Al Fresco dining; and the potential for public events e.g. outdoor cinema, fairs, Christmas market etc which could also generate revenue to both County and City councils.
One of our Waterman Aspen staff is seconded into Oxfordshire County Council as a Senior Engineer and has worked on the Frideswide Square project which was highly commended at the 2016 CIHT Awards ceremony in London.