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Read our Travel Survey results and plans for improving your journey

Published on: 02/03/2020

Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent travel survey and to the Travel Forum for encouraging people to take part.

We received nearly 1,400 responses and Veronica Reynolds, our sustainable travel advisor, and the team have been busy analysing the results.

Some top headline highlights during the last 12 months were:

- private car use remains 56% of all journeys

- 8% of people car share through Faxi

- 2% are dropped off and 9% arrive after school drop off

- 11% of people are walking and cycling

- people cycling to work has increased by 2%, partly due to initiatives like Bike2Work days and Car Free Days

- 7% of people use the bus only, while 5% use the bus and train

- 14% of respondents are intending to acquire an electric vehicle (EV) within the next 18 months with 4% of already owning a hybrid of EV

- postcode data showed more people are living closer to the Park in Didcot and the surrounding area and therefore travelling shorter distances to work

- more than half of people want to reduce their carbon footprint when commuting.

For the MEPC team, the big question is how do we continue to improve your journey to and from Milton Park?

The 2040 Vision has given us a framework to plan connectivity and mobility at Milton Park. With the current climate emergency, our focus is on sustainable transport.

Consequently we are increasing the amount of investment into public transport services, cycle infrastructure and shared mobility options such as car share clubs.

Our plan is to grow the mode share of sustainable transport from 40% today to 60% by 2035.

As part of these plans, we will be improving the cycling and walking infrastructure, which, in turn, will make Milton Park less attractive as a short-cut for local traffic which currently accounts for 17% of all vehicle movements in peak hours.

The Travel Survey findings indicate that the proportion of people living closer to Milton Park is growing each year, as more local housing becomes available. Bus patronage is also increasing and we anticipate will continue to increase as we invest in more local bus services.

We anticipate that these changing lifestyle trends will continue, along with more adoption of shared mobility such as car share, car pool, bike share and micro-mobility, particularly among the younger generations where driving is on the decline. This will all help to reduce the number of private cars coming in and out of the site.

Your suggestions identified some common themes. The following elements also feed into our 2040 Vision.

Improving access by car in and out of the Park at peak times

Many of you commented on the access to Milton Park at the Milton Interchange (A34) at peak times.

We are in discussions with Oxfordshire County Council to improve the junction between Park Drive and Milton High Street at the Western end. Modelling work is now underway to explore the impact of that on local traffic flows.

We recently changed the exit from the overflow car park to reduce the number of cars trying to join Park Drive from Western Avenue. Initial observations suggest that this is helping to smooth the traffic flow. We will continue to monitor this situation.

Some respondents suggested putting in an off-site car park and this is something that we are also looking into, to tie in with on-site shuttle vehicles.

We fully appreciate that some of you have few options but to drive on your own and we need to make sure that everyone can get to work easily at Milton Park. Our state-of-the art car share platform, Faxi can help to reduce the numbers of cars on the road, even if individuals just shared once a week.

Pedestrian crossings

Several people mentioned that Milton Park would benefit from more pedestrian crossings.

We are delighted that the crossing opposite the Backhill Tunnel (below) has finally opened and we are already seeing more usage.

Backhill Tunnel at Milton Park

We are currently reviewing designs for pedestrian and cyclist improvements to Park Drive, including more crossing points at bus stops and along desire lines to the amenities.

We plan to start work on these improvements this year. This includes changes to Park Drive as part of the ‘urbanisation project’ to make it more cycle and pedestrian-friendly, with the potential to reduce the speed limit to 20mph.

Traffic and bus alerts

Several people requested more real-time travel information.

March 2020 sees the launch of Mi-Link, the bespoke Milton Park journey planner app which will send you traffic and travel alerts, straight to your mobile phone. Go to www.mi-link.uk to register.

Buses and laybys

Some people have asked why we don’t provide laybys for the bus stops to ease congestion for private cars.

Laybys considerably add to bus journey times as buses often struggle to pull out in traffic. If we are to encourage more people to use the bus, and therefore reduce the number of cars on the Park, we need to ensure that the buses can run as smoothly and as punctually as possible.

We are currently talking to local bus providers about offering additional services between Oxford, Abingdon, Wantage, Didcot and Milton Park.

Cycling infrastructure

Cycling to Milton Park continues to be popular, along with our regular Bike2Work events which is much appreciated.

Our ambition is to grow our current mode share for cycling from 11% to 25% by 2035.

Improvements for cyclists on the Park are ongoing as the 2040 Vision is realised. Work along the old pipeline route is ongoing and we are in discussions with the Council about extending cycle paths outside of Milton Park, which will ultimately connect to Abingdon.

Several people said that they were put off cycling due to limited shower facilities in their buildings. We are looking to add a dedicated cycle hub with maintenance, showers and storage to meet some of this need.

Oxfordshire County Council has implemented measures to improve cycling routes to Milton Park. This includes lighting installed along Milton Road, along with the new 40mph speed limit on that stretch. Work is now underway along Peep-o-Day Lane from Abingdon to resurface and install low level lighting.

If you would like to know more about cycling at Milton Park or would like help in planning a safer journey by bike, please contact veronica.reynolds@miltonpark.com.

Please also make contact if you would like to join our Milton Park Bike Users’ Group, which is actively lobbying to improve conditions for cyclists in the area.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging points

With some of you already owning a hybrid of EV and more people intending to acquire an EV soon, we are conscious of the need to keep increasing the number of EV charging points at Milton Park.

Currently, only half of the charging points across the Park are typically in use at any one time.

Now that the high voltage cabling has been installed and the sub-station upgraded, we expect to be able to install many more EV charging points, including rapid chargers. Numbers are being explored against the background of rapidly evolving technology, including induction charging and new battery technology to ensure that charging point installations are future-proof.

Milton Park’s Travel Forum

All travel-related information and updates are shared with the Milton Park Travel Forum, which reflects the interests of Milton Park companies with the local councils and external stakeholders such as bus and rail companies and Highways England.

The Travel Forum currently has representatives from 65 of Milton Park’s companies and organisations and is growing all the time. Representatives will share updates with their colleagues about travel-related matters, where appropriate.

If you don’t know who your Travel Forum representative is or would like to represent your company or organisation, please contact veronica.reynolds@miltonpark.com

Thank you for continuing to work with us to both improve your journeys and air quality. Congratulations again to our three survey winners: https://www.miltonpark.co.uk/news/travel-survey-winners

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