As part of its biennial programme, in 2022 Countryside (now part of Vistry Group) commissioned environmental consultancy, WSP, to carry out a Health and Wellbeing Survey with Kingsmere residents, to understand their travel habits as well as how living at Kingsmere contributes to their wellbeing and happiness.

Marking Kingsmere’s second travel survey to date, results from a previous survey undertaken in 2017 were used as a baseline to inform the future delivery of Travel Plans and subsequent monitoring of Travel Plan targets.

Designed to enable and promote sustainable and active modes of travel – either via public transport, walking or cycling – Kingsmere is situated within walking distance from two railway stations and there are two bus services providing direct connection to Bicester town centre, Bicester Village railway station and Oxford city centre that pass through the developments.

The research, which was undertaken with residents during a six-week engagement period between 19th September and 31st October 2022, explored travel habits of residents at the development as well as their environmental, health and social values. In addition to collecting data on the views of the travel options available, the survey also covered other topics, including green spaces, leisure facilities and the local community.

Initial feedback from the respondents has been extremely encouraging. Highlights from the results include:

  • 66% of first journeys were to destinations within Bicester or Oxford, where direct services are available from the buses that pass through development
  • 79% visited Bicester Town Centre once or twice a week, with the Bus proving the preferred mode of travel for respondents who visited frequently
  • 88% rated their satisfaction with Kingsmere as a place to live 7 or higher out of 10
  • 75% feel that living in Kingsmere helps to encourage a fit and healthy lifestyle, reasons being that there are spaces available to walk and run safely, the presence of well-maintained green spaces and accessible walking areas
  • 70% felt that living in Kingsmere plays a positive part in their own happiness and wellbeing due to their closeness to nature, community feel and availability of and access to open spaces
  • 96% respondents used the local shops at the Kingsmere Village Centre with 81% using the Retail Park also located at Kingsmere off Pioneer Way

Feedback from respondents included that people valued living at Kingsmere due to:

  • The abundance of open spaces, footpaths, amenities, schools and children’s play areas
  • Easy access to the train station and connectivity to nearby towns and cities such as Oxford, London and Birmingham
  • Strong sense of community

Martin Leach, Director, , Countryside Properties (Bicester) Limited said: ‘It’s great to have received such positive feedback from the Health and Wellbeing Travel Survey at Kingsmere. The data collected from these surveys helps to inform and monitor travel plans across our developments, ensuring that we create a positive environment for our residents as part of our commitment to build sustainable communities.’

Here’s what our residents had to say…

‘The existence of the track around the sports fields, the walkways around the lakes, the exercise classes at the community centre and school are all sources of wellbeing’.

‘Living at Kingsmere definitely encourages me to take a walk rather than driving. It is also well connected to other local places such as Bicester Village, Bicester town and Tesco which makes it easier to walk ‘