View more tweets

New crossing at Old Road/Gipsy Lane – why no bleeps?

We’ve had lots of complaints from residents that there is no audible crossing signal at the bottom of Old Road, crossing to Valentia Road and Gipsy Lane. We have asked the County Council why not. They have sent us the above leaflet and you will find their reply below.

Some of the pedestrian crossings can be served while other traffic is flowing, so we can give more opportunities to cross and reduce pedestrian waiting times significantly. This means that some crossings are at green while others are at red. If a visually impaired person is waiting at one crossing when a nearby crossing starts to bleep there is a very real concern that they may accidentally cross against a red man. I’m afraid we can’t have audibles here. For disabled users we do have the tactile rotating cone.

 I have attached the DfT leaflet in case you have other queries. This is intended to introduce pedestrians to the idea and explain how they are kept safe. This applies with or without audibles.

Latest news on “Better Oxfordshire” unitary bid

The County Council’s Cabinet voted today to submit a unitary bid proposal called  “A new council for a better Oxfordshire” to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The proposal was co-written by the County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, and the Vale of White Horse Council, and all three authorities have now voted through executive decisions to press on with the submission.

The proposal can be seen at

It makes a case for abolishing the existing two tier structure of six councils and replacing them with one new council for the whole of Oxfordshire.

If the proposal gets the backing of the Secretary of State, (this is by no means certain) it is possible that those elected to office in the May 2017 elections will only serve for two years until 2019, and the Oxford City Council elections might be suspended in 2018 allowing existing City councillors to continue until 2019. At that point, all out elections would take place for the new authority.

Oxford City Council’s “Hands off Oxford City” campaign has now come to a close. Over the next few weeks it will:

  • Develop an alternative proposal which creates a partnership body to oversee spacial planning and infrastructure invested in the County with the aim to get all Councils to work together;
  • Provide Government with an independent assessment of public opinion;
  • Commission an independent and detailed analysis of the County Council Unitary proposals and publish that; and
  • Ensure local stakeholders and the public know there is an alternative and publicise the results of public services.



Free bangers on Friday 24th!

Here are some forthcoming events in Oxford for the next two weeks

  • Wednesday 15 March, Table Tennis for all, Heritage Learning Centre, Town Hall, 12.15pm to 2pm.
  • Thursday 16 March, Register to Vote Campaign, Bonn Square, 9.30am to 5pm. The Oxford City Council electoral service will be promoting electoral
  • Wednesday, 22 March, 5 Ways to Wellbeing, Bonn Square, 9.30am to 3.30pm. Part of a county wide Oxfordshire Mind Roadshow to promote the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’
  • Friday 24 March, Walls Sausage Promotion and Sampling Event, 8am to 5pm. Wall’s sampling truck is visiting Bonn Square with free samples.
  • Saturday 25 March, Vintage Oxford Bus Display, Bonn Square, 12pm to 6.30pm. The Oxford Bus Museum will be presenting on of their vintage single deck buses on Bonn Square.

Revised single unitary plans proposal

Thanks to all residents for sending in comments to the proposal for a single unitary. Some of these comments have brought changes in the revised proposal, particularly a significant increase in area boards and strengthened governance for Oxford City.

The latest revised proposal is at

The next steps for the proposal are that it will be considered by Vale of White Horse’s Cabinet on Monday. The county council’s Performance Scrutiny Committee will consider the proposal in detail on Thursday 9 March, including a presentation on public engagement exercise. The County Council Cabinet will consider the proposal on 14 March.

Cllr Price, the Leader of the Oxford City Council has commented:

“Our position remains the same. We call on the County Council to end this wasteful exercise that now seems more confused than ever and focus instead on solving the issues we are all facing over housing, infrastructure and skills shortages.”

We would welcome all comments from residents on the revised proposal. It seems that some changes have been made in response to resident concerns. We certainly agree with Cllr Price that the exercise has been wasteful of council taxpayers’ money, but this applies to the City Council as well as the County Council. We look forward to the results of various Freedom of Information requests to find out the total cost incurred by both authorities on consultancy and marketing at a time when adult social services and children’s services are fighting to maintain service levels at a time of huge government cuts. We believe that the outcomes need to be about quality, sufficiency and effective management of services to our residents.

Energy pipe works: updated timetable

Here is the current revised timetable for works, this may alter if there are unforeseen circumstances. Works in Latimer Road are slower than expected as Southern Gas wants to strengthen infrastructure and the parts have been ordered but not yet received on site. This means that some locations need to be kept fenced off.

Unfortunately the delays in Latimer Road will mean that the London Road works will not now start until 3rd April, but this may work out better in the long run as the latter will be done over the Easter period when there are fewer traffic movements associated with those who study in the area.


Planned strike action by bus drivers on Thursday

Oxford Bus Company has posted up a list of services that may be affected:

We will work as hard as we can to provide the following services on the planned strike days:

  • the airline Heathrow and Gatwick
  • cityX3
  • city13
  • city4/4A/4B/4C
  • city6
  • city35
  • park&ride300
  • park&ride400
  • BROOKESbusU1
  • BROOKESbusU5
  • School services city3B, city6C and city35A

It is unlikely that the following services will run and so we recommend you make alternative arrangements:

  • city2/2A/2B/2C/2D
  • city3/3A
  • city4B (between Oxford City and Abingdon)
  • city5
  • city8/9
  • cityX13
  • the airline Birmingham
  • X90 London
  • BROOKESbusU4
  • park & ride 500

For further information including whether or not tickets are transferrable to services run by other operators, please visit the Oxford Bus website at:


Up and coming events in Oxford

  • Friday 3 March to Sunday 12 March, Dancin’ Oxford Spring Festival, various locations. Dance performances and workshops for everyone!
  • Saturday 4 March, Dancin’ Oxford Dance Festival Launch Event, Broad Street and Weston Library, 12 to 4 pm. Dancin’ Oxford 2017 will once again launch with a series of short, snappy but very striking professional dance performances to introduce the general public to the Dance Festival, and by way of celebration of dance, right in the heart of the City.
  • 6, 11, 18 and 21 March, NHS Blood and Transplant – Promoting Blood and Organ Donation, Bonn Square, 10 am to 3 pm. Promotion of blood and organ donation in England. Interested individuals can enrol to become blood donors.
  • Wednesday 8 March, No Smoking Day, Bonn Square, 10 am to 4 pm. No Smoking Day is a National Stop Smoking Campaign to encourage smokers to quit.
  • Wednesday 8 March, Teddy Hall Relays 2017, route throughout the city centre, starting and finishing on the Iffley Road Track, 1 to 4 pm. Annual student run.