Return to on-site working – travel updates

Updated 7 January 2021

Update Summary

Section 1 – Government announcement – National lockdown revisions as of 4 January 2021.

Section 2 – Rail and bus services update – Updates from Chiltern Rail, GWR, Cross Country Trains and Bus companies.

Section 3 – Local Announcements – Free parking at Park & Rides suspended and update from BESC on Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot.

Section 4 – Parking – Iffley Road Sports Centre temporarily unavailable to Temporary Permission to Park (TPTP) permit holders.

1. Government Announcements

On Monday 4 January the UK Government announced a national lockdown for England.

Rules & guidance relevant for staff in national lockdown have been included below for ease of access:

  • You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home. Where people cannot work from home, they should continue to travel to their workplace.
  • If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you
    should not go to work, even if you are not able to work from home.
  • You must not leave your home unless you have reasonable cause to do so, such as for work. Walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.
    Wear a face covering
  • Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubbleSee the guidance on car sharing.
  • If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.
  • You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating due to coronavirus symptoms, share a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS
    Test and Trace.
  • Accommodation will be closed except for specific reasons. You should not stay overnight unless it is essential for work purposes. This should only be with those in your household or support bubble. You must not stay in a second home or caravan.

Staff who are unsure if they should commute to work, or travel for work purposes, must liaise with their line manager directly in the first instance. Your line manager will assess the requirement for workplace attendance and travel and agree this
with you in advance.

Visit the Occupation Health Services website to access the University’s COVID-19 Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool.

2. Public Transport

Please do not use public transport for work purposes unless unavoidable.

Chiltern Railways

Chiltern Railways commenced an amended timetable on 4 January 2021, check the amended timetable on their website before travelling, allow extra time for your journey
and buy tickets online or via their app.

There is a Journey Check Alert Service which you can subscribe to, for real-time updates on your specific route into work.


An amended GWR timetable can be found on their website. They strongly recommend checking your journey before travelling. For information on how to apply for refunds for unused tickets visit
the GWR website.

Cross Country Trains

Information about services and alterations can be found on the Cross Country Trains (CCT) Journery Check page. Visit the new CCT website for consolidated information about service updates and travel guidance during the pandemic.

Bus Companies

The bus companies are running a near-normal service but with reduced evening services. Several improvements to service routes have been made within the city and county. These are summarised below:

  • From Sunday 3 January 2021, service changes come into effect on the city X3/X13/13. The current cityX13 service, providing the through service between Abingdon, Oxford city centre, Marston, Northway and  the JR Hospital will be replaced by higher
    frequency coordinated cityX3/13 and Thames Travel X2 services. More details can be found on the Oxford City Bus Company website.
  • Details of other service improvements across the county can be found on the Oxford City Bus Company service changes page.
  • Stagecoach is making considerable changes to services operating in and around Bicester from Monday 4 January, including introducing two new services with improved links to the Eastern Arc in Oxford. Visit the Stagecoach website for
    details. The Oxford Tube service has been temporarily suspended.
  • Staff can access consolidated updates on the Oxford Bus Company (OBC) website and all of their subsidiaries. Staff who
    prefer to use Twitter can access the OBC newsfeed.
  • Staff can access consolidated updates on the Stagecoach services website. Staff who prefer to use Twitter can access the feed via Stagecoach Oxfordshire feed.

3. Local announcements

Free Parking

The City & County Councils are no longer providing free parking at Oxford’s five park and rides. The statement on free parking at Oxford park and rides can
be found on the Oxford City Council website.

Zero Emission Zone

The County & City are now consulting on the ZEZ pilot - Full details of the proposals including FAQs can be found on the Oxford City Council website.

A supportive response from the University was approved at BESC on 10 December and PRAC on 15 December. Support for the scheme is based on University vehicles qualifying for a 90% discount until 2025.

Other works

The County has undertaken road modifications to improve various cycle and pedestrian traffic routes. Details are provided here.

Traffic congestion is increasing around the city in October. Phase 1 of the Botley Road roadworks is planned to continue throughout the coming academic year. Details of the phase 1 plan for Botley Road can be found on the County Council's website.
Staff using this route may wish to consider an alternative or avoid peak hours where possible.

Tranche 2 Emergency Active Travel Bid

The County Council have confirmed they still await the outcome of their ambitious £4.5m bid to the Central Government's Emergency Active Travel Bid for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and improved cycling routes.

The County has released a summary of their Tranche 2 bid to the Government's Emergency Active Travel Fund. In essence, they are seeking £4.5m (from an allocation of £2.3m) to:

  • Deliver six 'Quickways' to improve cycling on main radials including Old Road/Warneford lane, Cowley Road/Oxford Road, Marston Road/St Clements, Woodstock Road, Banbury Road and Rose Hill/Iffley Road. One of these will link Thornhill P&R
    to Headington.
  • Deliver six 'Quietways' to complement the main radials by improving cycling on minor quiet roads.
  • The routes will be improved using a range of measures including bus gates, traffic filters (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) and new cycle lanes (protected when possible). Complimentary School Streets measures are also included. It is disappointing to
    note that no measures to increase segregation between cyclists and pedestrians are proposed.
  • An LTN in Jericho using modal filters (road closures).
  • An Additional two bus gates on Cowley Road and Old Road.

Map below

Oxford travel bid Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council


4. Staff parking

  • The Iffley Road Sports Centre, accessed via Jackdaw Lane, is temporarily unavailable to Temporary Permission to Park (TPTP) holders. All other sites remain accessible, visit the Travel website for details of available parking sites.
  • A total of 687 additional parking spaces have been created to support staff returning to work. Of these 145 are at Old Road Campus, 200 are in Central Oxford, and the remainder is in more peripheral locations within 30 minutes (approx.) walk of central
    Oxford. This brings the total number of parking spaces to 1,332.
  • The current, total number of full-time parking spaces utilised in the TPTP scheme is 787. Since March this year, there have been no reported incidents of staff struggling to locate suitable parking.
  • Departments have a new parking allocation cap. This is by negotiation, but cannot exceed 46% of staff numbers returning to work (46% is the percentage of University staff who arrive by car or public transport).
  •  Any HR issues around the allocation of parking spaces are dealt with by departments as usual.
  • The existing advice on criteria for granting parking spaces has been extended to provide a Covid 19 category for vulnerable staff. This has been reviewed by the EDU, HR, CPWG and approved by BESC.
  • Departments are required to manage the allocation of spaces against their cap. They can allocate more permits than their cap, to allow for shift and staggered working. The system allows staff to request a permit for a specific day of the week, am
    or pm.
  • Departments embedded within OUH sites are also able to access temporary parking support via the TPTP system.
  • Students are not eligible to apply for a temporary permit to park. If departments wish to facilitate parking for students, this will need to be handled at local discretion within operational space. Any queries should be directed to
  • The reintroduction of a charge for parking will be reviewed during the Michaelmas term. This is to deal with the inequity of staff travelling to work on public transport having to pay, whilst those allocated a permit are not charged. Any money raised
    is put into the Green Travel Fund to pay for improvements to cycle facilities etc.
  • Any proposal for the reintroduction of peak-time parking charges will be brought back to the relevant groups and committees for discussion. It is anticipated that the charges will be levied as a percentage of salary and based on the number of days
    per week that the permit is used – as under the normal permit process.
  • Travel information is being regularly updated, and permit holders are receiving a bi-weekly update on parking status every other Friday.
  • We are planning to bring the off-peak leisure permit option back in Michaelmas term. This will allow staff to pay for a permit to use during evenings and weekends for leisure purposes. Staff who require off-peak access as part of their work routine
    will continue to be able to request this for free within the TPTP process.
  • Secure park and pedal options have been announced this week. Staff can apply for access to secure bicycle shelters at Osney Mead by completing an online web form on the parking permit web page. FAQs for the service are also included on the page. On
    completion of the web, form staff are sent a map and bicycle shelter access codes by email; this service is supported by the RTOSW Helpdesk team.

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