• Government announces £64 million to go to supporting projects on cycling and walking to work
  • Residents in Kingsmere, Bicester to receive a Travel Choices Brochure and a questionnaire on commuter habits and the chance to win £830 bus pass

In January, Transport Minister Andrew Jones, announced £64m will go towards encouraging people to cycle and walk, supporting local projects over the next three years.  It forms part of a wider government package of more than £300m to boost walking and cycling during the current parliament.  Residents at Kingsmere in Bicester are ahead of the game as Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd has already taken several steps towards ensuring that the development is well-connected for sustainable travel options.

Two railway stations within walking distance of Kingsmere ensure that getting to London, Oxford or Birmingham is easy.  A huge network of newly created cycle ways in and around Kingsmere and Bicester town centre also mean that those looking to leave their cars at home can do so in safety.  There are also two bus services which serve the site, taking residents to Bicester Town centre and the heart of Oxford.

Significant improvements have been made to the bus services and new train services to Bicester Village Station and Bicester North Railway Station has made the town more connected than ever. Now that these are largely complete, new travel information is being provided to all Kingsmere residents, who can also take advantage of free trial bus and rail tickets from partners Stagecoach and Chiltern Railways.

To ensure that residents are fully aware of the options available to them, Countryside Properties, and local partners, (Cherwell District Council, Chiltern Railways, Oxfordshire County Council and Stagecoach) have produced a Travel Choices Brochure and questionnaire for Kingsmere residents. The brochure raises awareness of the rail and bus services available, as well as footpath and cycle routes. The questionnaire will help Countryside and its partners understand what travel residents currently do, by what means of transport, and asks questions about residents’ travel needs. This will help the partnership identify if changes or measures can be introduced to further reduce the use of the car, and to increase the use of other modes of transport. For those who complete and return the questionnaire, there is a prize draw, and one lucky resident could win a 52-Week Megarider Gold Oxfordshire bus pass, worth £830.00.  And for every questionnaire that is completed, Countryside will make a donation to local charity, The Hummingbird Cancer Support and Therapy Centre.

Andrew Carrington, Director, Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd comments: “We are committed along with our partners, to ensure that Kingsmere is a worthy addition to the Bicester community.  One way to ensure that this is the case, is to understand the challenges they face getting to work or taking the children to school, so we can continue to improve quality of life, as well as providing alternative and more sustainable travel options.

“We have been working closely with Stagecoach on the bus service provision. The S5 service to Oxford, which runs through the site is already very well used. We are now looking at ways to increase the use of the local 26 bus service”.

The Managing Director of Stagecoach, Martin Sutton, comments: “It has been a pleasure working with the Countryside team to support the sustainable travel plan for Kingsmere. Local bus services are an increasingly important part of the network and with contactless payments available on board, the bus is quick and easy to use. We are confident that the new brochure and special offers available to residents will help encourage more people to consider greener alternatives.”

Kingsmere is ideal for commuters. Bicester Village and Bicester North railway stations, are both located within 1 mile of the development, offering trains to Oxford in 11 minutes and London Marylebone in 46 minutes. Meanwhile road connections are also excellent with junction 9 of the M40 just three miles away. The development also benefits from its own Park & Ride facility, allowing residents to use the bus services for further travel, and is also served by two bus routes through the development, with services to both Bicester town centre and Oxford city centre.

A two-bed mid-terrace by Bellway Homes starts from £274,995, while a 2-bed semi-detached home by Linden Homes starts at £285,000. A 5-bed semi-detached home starts from £446,995 by Bovis Homes and a 4-bed home starts at £349,950 by Persimmon.