Oxford City Council is seeking views from local people to help develop the design of the Oxpens River Bridge.
This is a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking the future proposed redevelopment of the Osney Mead industrial estate to the proposed Oxpens redevelopment and Oxford city centre.
The views of local people will be used to develop the bridge’s design and inform a planning application in Autumn 2022. It is estimated that once approved by planning, the bridge will take one year to construct.
The consultation is open from 19 July to 13 September, and views can be given online and in person. An in-person event will be held at Oxford Ice Rink on Tuesday 19 July from 3.45pm to 7.30pm.
The Oxpens River Bridge is proposed to be located at Grandpont Nature Park (south side) and Oxpens Meadow (north side), connecting from Osney Mead to the west to Oxford City Centre and the Oxford Train Station, and beyond to the wider walking and cycling networks.
The bridge design, led by award-winning bridge designers Knight Architects, seeks to improve connections in the area, encouraging more people to walk and cycle to the city centre and workplaces while mitigating the impact on the environment.
The bridge’s sleek and slender design aims to preserve and enhance the current views of the river and meadow.
The bridge is a requirement of the Oxford Local Plan and is needed to support the proposed mixed-use redevelopment at Osney Mead, creating a new quarter of the city where business units may share the space with new homes.
The Council is also committed to boosting ‘active travel’ across Oxford and improving the city’s cycling routes.
The funding for the proposed bridge is from the Oxfordshire Growth Deal, which funds infrastructure to support new housing delivery. The funding package was set by the County Council.
In March 2020, the City Council agreed to take on the role of progressing the bridge through the design, planning and delivery stages on behalf of the County Council.
It has subsequently become clear that there is a funding gap, but it was agreed with the County Council the design would be completed and planning permission secured whilst work was undertaken to address the funding gap.
Separate funding has been identified for the repair of the Gasworks Pipe Bridge to the east of the proposed bridge, and these works are being progressed.
The over-arching framework for the West End and Osney Mead redevelopment, known as the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), is also currently out to public consultation and ends on 10 August.
In addition to the new homes and businesses planned for both Osney Mead and Oxpens redevelopments, other West End projects in the coming years include the redevelopment of Oxford Station to create new tracks and better east to west routes.
The West End and Osney Mead redevelopment is an ambitious vision to transform a currently under-used 44-acre site to the west of the city centre.
Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Delivery at Oxford City Council, said: “We are really keen to hear local people’s views on the proposed Oxpens River Bridge, as we want a design that opens up the whole area by the river, so more people want to walk, run and cycle along it.
“The bridge will link the proposed exciting transformation of the existing Osney Mead industrial estate with the city centre. We hope the new bridge will enhance people’s lives as much as it will enhance the unique character of the area.”
To view the proposed design for the Oxpens River Bridge, please come to the exhibition at Oxford Ice Rink on 19 July.
The consultation portal goes live on 19 July.
To take part in the online consultation, please visit: https://consultation.oxford.gov.uk/regeneration-economy/oxpens-river-bridge