Oxford City Canal Partnership Agenda
Canal maintenance and improvements
Many improvements including the creation of Pocket Park at the city end of Oxford canal have been carried out between partners particularly the Canal and River Trust who have a responsibility for maintaining the canal, its locks, and bridges, and Oxford City and County Council who have responsibility to local citizens for providing leisure amenities. Improvements to the quality of the towpath north of Walton Well Bridge and between Aristotle Bridge and the bridge carrying Jennings Way to Summertown are due to be carried out in the near future.
The restoration of the Oxford Canal Terminus
When the OCCP was founded, the canal’s role in the regeneration of Oxford’s West End and opening-up access to this part of the City was recognised by the Oxford City Council. The restoration of a canal terminus was highlighted as a key action to achieving this goal. Research was undertaken and plans drawn up by Oxford Brookes University and Said Business School to explore the business case for such a development. To date however the restoration has not been progressed.
Jericho canal side development
In 2007, British Waterways and the City Council were widely censured for facilitating the sale of Jericho boatyard and adjoining land to housing developers. Community action over the intervening years led to the establishment of the Jericho Wharf Trust (see below) that seeks to ensure that any development prioritises community needs. The site was purchased in 2014 and current plans look set to meet both commercial and community interests.
Balancing the needs of all the canal’s users
There are over 70 residential boats moored from the city to Duke’s Cut and as our oral histories show, for many people, the canal not only provides low cost city housing but also a sense of community and belongingness.
At the same time, water-based and land-based tourism has increased and there is a need to balance these activities with support for the biodiversity of the Canal hence conservation measures to protect wildlife that include areas prohibited for mooring.
The canal towpath is also a strategically important for public transport and access - as a cycleway as well as pedestrian route - between the city/station and north of the city. However the inherent tensions between different groups of towpath users and canal dwellers recently led to the Canal and River Trust erecting a set of Pedestrian Priority signs in the southern more crowded part of the Oxford canal.
A green corridor
Over the years, the awareness of the canal as an important public health asset to the City population in terms of quality of life and well-being has increased. For locals and visitors, a ‘green’ walk along a pathway that can be quiet, or, at times, busy, provides an opportunity to relax and yet be stimulated by water, wildlife, plants, residential and visiting boats. It is hoped that in future such green walks might be commissioned by GP's.
The OCCP meet quarterly and all meeting minutes and reports are available from