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JCA Notices

JCA AGM 2024

How the World Made the West

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The cafe is back

Our popular Saturday morning cafe is running again

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Street Fair Stall booking

The 2024 Street Fair will be held on Saturday 8 June. This will be part of a Jericho weekend. To book a stall, please click HERE.   

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Jericho Pantry

The main purpose of the Pantry is to make food that would otherwise be thrown away accessible to people who live locally who can make use of it.

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Life drawing classes

Explore your creativity -- all levels welcome. 

Local artist Mike England holds life drawing classes at the community centre.

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Join your local association

The JCA represents residents on local issues, organizes events, and runs the community centre. Membership is FREE.

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NEWS ITEM

Traffic controls ahead

The blue filters will operate daily from 7am to 7 pm. The orange ones probably from 7.00-9am and 3-6 pm

Image: Oxford Liveable Streets.

New traffic control measures are on the horizon. Both will directly affect Jericho residents.

Posted - April 20, 2024

The first is the trial of a filter system which will come into force in Autumn 2024 – following the completion of works on the Botley Road railway bridge. The second is a proposed expansion of the city centre Zero Emission Zone which could come into force in 2026.

These overlapping measures will have the benefit of cutting congestion and pollution across the city. The main aim of the filters is to make bus travel quicker and more reliable by giving buses priority over cars on key routes. But both measures will also make some driving more demanding. Both will use automatic number plate recognition systems and will apply charges or fines to vehicles that are not exempt or do not have permits.

Facing the filters

The most immediate prospect is the 18-month trial of six traffic filters – electronic devices that can charge or fine vehicles that pass through them. Driving through a filter with neither an exemption nor a pass will attract a fine of at least £35. The County hopes that this will reduce traffic through the city centre by around one-third.

Everyone should derive some benefit from the filters – pedestrians, cyclists and car owners who will all enjoy cleaner, safer and quieter streets. But, of course, this will also constrain the half of Jericho households that have cars. Most affected will be those who commute through the city centre – who will probably have to make more use of the city bypass roads. Residents of Oxford who use their cars less frequently may not feel much impact since each registered car will be entitled to 100 free ‘day passes’ per year, up to a maximum of three cars per household. Residents of Oxfordshire will be entitled to 25 passes a year.

Moreover, the list of exemptions is quite long. Those fully exempt, for example, include taxis, vans, blue badge holders, businesses, carers, and hospital patients needing regular treatment. For more information on the filters and exemptions, check this link to the County Council website. Car owners will be able to register their vehicles sometime in the summer. The trial will then probably start in November or December and last up to 18 months - after which it could become permanent.

Into the Zone

The proposal is to expand the ZEZ northwards around Jericho

As well as the arrival of the filters, there is the prospect of expanding Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) – an area in which vehicles are subject to restrictions on exhaust fumes. At present the Oxford ZEZ covers only a small part of the city centre, but the plan now is to extend it to skirt around Jericho. 

Vehicles without exhaust fumes or other greenhouse gas emissions can be driven in the zone free of charge. Unless exempt, such as those of residents of the Zone, or business vehicles, all other vehicles are charged between £2 and £10 a day according to their emission levels. For the full, quite long, list of exemptions, see the County Council web page Proposed Wider Zero Emission Zone.

The new ZEZ plan is at a very early ‘pre-consultation’ stage. Community representatives, including the JCA, were briefed on April 5 on the proposals that are likely to form the basis of a broad public consultation in the autumn this year. Following this, the County Council expects to make a decision in mid-2025 that could result in implementation in 2026.  

One query raised at the pre-consultation was that the filter trial would only have been running six months before the County Council Cabinet would take a decision on expanding the ZEZ. Will this be long enough to assess the filters? And since these should substantially reduce emissions would the wider ZEZ bring sufficient marginal benefit? Also, there is as yet no mechanism for visitors arriving from outside Oxfordshire – comparable to visitor parking permits.

Another issue is the potential disadvantage of having Jericho bordering on the Zone – and experiencing diverted traffic. The northern parts of Jericho, and Walton Manor, for example, could see more traffic as vehicles exit north to avoid the ZEZ. 

An alternative would be to have Jericho within the Zone. For Jericho drivers of petrol or diesel cars this might make life easier since their exemptions as residents would enable them to travel freely through the city centre ZEZ. For everyone else this would probably be less welcome since around 400 Jericho-based cars could be adding to fumes across the whole ZEZ.

Other pieces of the puzzle

How do these proposals fit together? The County Council thinks of them as pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that make up its Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan.

Other pieces, elsewhere in the city, include low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs). These involve preventing motorised traffic taking shortcuts through residential areas. In parts of East Oxford, for example, some traffic is being diverted by physical road blocks supplemented with number plate recognition.

You may remember that  an LTN had been proposed for Jericho including the barrier at the end of Walton Street. Strangely, after the latter was removed traffic did not revert to previous high levels. It is not clear why. Maybe drivers have been habituated to using other routes. Maybe, post-Covid, fewer people are commuting. As ever, however, traffic management offers a lively topic for local media. On this subject, you might be interest in a forthcoming debate on April 23 at 7.00 pm at the Friends Meeing House, Does the media help or hinder the active travel debate?

Diary

Jericho Fest
Sat 08 Jun - 12.00 pm

Run Jericho Registration
Sun 09 Jun - 9.00 am
St Barnabas School
St Sepulchre’s Garden Group Caring for Jericho's most peaceful space
Wednesday 29 May -
St. Sepulchre's cemetary
Steph Pirrie Jazz

Thursday 23 May -
Harcourt Arms

MY JERICHO
Next meeting
The real Keir Starmer
Tom Baldwin in conversation Mon 20 May - 6:30pm
At: St Barnabas Church