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Headington sewer capacity

Here are some notes from a meeting with Thames Water, following sewage spills in and around London Road and Brookside.

Pipe capacity

  • There is a 150 mm pipe down London Rd
  • This joins a 300 mm pipe in All Saints Road
  • Capacity has been checked in and around the junction of Headley Way, London Road and Brookside and this is OK.
  • If capacity were a problem then the sewer would block up daily.
  • Sewer pipes need to be fairly full as they are self-cleaning so require steady flow

Monitoring capacity

  • Growth forecast  is considered every 6 months so incremental change is spotted.
  • They have just finished plotting capacity across the City and Headington is OK. (evidence shown for this)
  • London Road sewer (incl Brookside) is on the 1 year planned maintenance list because of the frequency of incidents but the latter have all been due to a build-up of fat and grease

How to contact Thames Water

Thames Water enquiry number is 0800 316 9800 to report drainage issues

Responsibility for sewers

Thames Water look after shared sewers. As soon as a sewer leaves your land then Thames Water looks after it

  • If a sewer pipe runs past no. 1, 3, 5, 7 then the owner of no. 1 is responsible for sorting out problems with the pipe inside his/her curtilage but when it gets to no. 3 and thereafter it’s the responsibility of TW
  • If unsure whose responsibility it is, ring Thames Water enquiry number

Causes of sewer blockage

Fat and grease clings to non-biodegradable wipes – these are everywhere now, not just baby wipes but surface wipes, make-up wipes etc

New technology to detect blockage

Echo system technology is newly available – don’t have to dig up major roads to put cameras down from now on, can send down an echo finder and get a reading from that

Further action agreed

  • TW to send posters/leaflets/.pdf link to Cllrs to promote what can and can’t go down sinks/toilets
  • TW to establish whether promotion dept is working with Oxford Brookes and Headington School
  • Cllrs to contact Thames Water if we think street traders are pouring grease into the sewers

Science Transit Bus route update

Following intervention from Headington Lib Dem councillors, the following communication has been received from the University.

After meeting the County and discussion with UNO Bus Ltd we have agreed to maintain the service on the current routing for the time being and not to implement a diversion.

We will continue to review the situation and if it does transpire that congestion causes problems with reliability we will again re-examine.  However, a diversion by Lime Walk is clearly in no-one’s interest whilst the Heat Pipe works are in operation.

I will contact you in advance if this situation changes and would be happy to meet in due course

Ruth says,

This is a welcome move by the University at a time when many residents are beset by roadworks, parking displacement, and temporary road closures.

Up and coming events in Oxford

  • Thursday 27 October, Magic, Witches and Potions, Museum of Oxford, 2pm to 4pm. Find out about natural remedies and beliefs in magic and witchcraft in the time of Shakespeare.  Have fun making your own fizzing potion! FREE (donations welcome!).
  • Saturday 29 October, Oxcavation, Museum of Oxford, 5.30pm to 8pm. Join our archaeology team as we learn more about Oxford’s fascinating history, whilst digging up new discoveries of your own. Suitable for children 5+.
  • Thursday 3 November, Monica Fooks Memorial Lecture, Sommerville College, 5.30pm.Professor Guy Goodwin, Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford University, will be leading a memorial lecture on the topic: ‘Mind the gap: do psychiatry and science belong together or not?’.
  • Saturday 5 November, Oxford Round Table Fireworks Display 2016, South Park,4.30 to 10.30 pm. Annual charity fundraising event which includes a firework display and bonfire, Jack FM sound stage, event catering, family area, public bar tent and funfair.
  • Saturday 5 November, Oxford Poppy Day, Broad Street, 9.30 am to 4 pm. Oxford Poppy Day in aid of the Royal British Legion poppy appeal, including a street collection and live music by youth bands and information/outreach regarding the RBL.
  • Sunday 13 November, Remembrance Day Service and Parade, St Giles, 10 am to 12.15 pm. The annual Remembrance Day ceremony will be at the memorial on St Giles along with a parade.
  • Sunday 20 November, Thames Valley Orienteering Club – Orienteering Event, Shotover Country Park (Brasenose Woods), 8 am to 4 pm. Competitors will have individual time slots at the start and run by themselves around the course through Brasenose
  • Friday 25 to Sunday 27 November, Christmas Light Festival 2016, City Centre inc. Broad Street, Gloucester Green & Oxford Castle, 5 to 10 pm (Fri), 10 am to 10 pm (Sat) & 10am  to 4 pm (Sun). Annual city event with the core outdoor event happening on Friday evening and various different cultural activities, most of which are free, taking place throughout the weekend.
  • Saturday 26 November, Have Your Say Meeting, Manzil Way Gardens, 10 am to 2 pm. This info stand by OCC’s Community Response Team aims to get resident’s views on issues in the area as well as the issues that matter most to them.

Headington Ward Focus meeting Tuesday 25th October


The next public meeting for residents who live in Headington Ward will be on

Tuesday 25th October

from 6:00-7:30 pm

at All Saints Church House, New High Street

Guest speaker: PCSO Peter Sanford from the Neighbourhood police team

Plus up to the minute news on timings for the energy pipe and Access to Headington projects

An Open Session for your comments too! Free of charge. All welcome! Hold your councillors to account!

Ward Focus meetings are run on a drop in and out basis and are free of charge. There is an open session where residents can raise issues of concern. There’s no need to book.

If you would like to contact your Lib Dem city councillors for advice on any issue please contact

Experiencing flooding or sewage spills? This meeting is for you

Residents of Oxford and the surrounding areas are invited to The Oxford Area Flood Partnership 2016 OPEN FORUM at Oxford Town Hall on Tuesday 1 November 2016 from  7 – 9pm.

After a short presentation on the OAFP’s work, you will have the opportunity to put your questions to the Partners themselves:

  • Environment Agency
  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • Oxford City Council
  • Vale of White Horse District Council
  • Thames Water
  • Network Rail

For more information email

Change of route for Science Transit shuttle bus during Roosevelt Drive works

We have been copied into the following message to Highfield Residents’ Association by the University of Oxford. We are very concerned about this proposed change of route which will further inconvenience Highfield residents at what will already be a highly stressful time, and set a precedent for minibuses through residential roads in the area.

Since 18 July 2016 the Science Transit Shuttle has provided a rapid and reliable connection every weekday between the Science Area and Old Road Campus for the University’s researchers, technicians and post-graduates.  The ST2 Old Road Campus route was implemented by the University in response to the inadequate public transport connections and to reduce the number of taxi and private car trips between these key sites for research and innovation in the City.  Due to the traffic congestion associated with Oxfordshire County Council’s Access to Headington works at the Old Road/Roosevelt Drive junction, the ST2 service has been experiencing serious delays, adversely impacting on the reliability and journey times.  Consequently the ST2 service will be diverted from the current route on Old Road/Warneford Lane and instead circulate via Lime Walk / Stapleton Road / London Road from 31st October 2016 until such time as reliable journey times return on Old Road/ Warneford Lane.  The private service is using 16 seater minibuses running every 30 minutes between 7am and 7pm.  Queries about the service should be directed to

We have contacted the University expressing our concerns. More to follow.

Wanted: volunteers for Christmas Light Festival

Oxford City Council is searching for enthusiastic volunteers to help make this year’s Christmas Light Festival the best ever.

The festival, which takes place between Friday 25 and Sunday 27 November, will see Oxford transformed with even more cultural activities and art installations than previous years.

The City Council, which organises the festival, has a number of volunteering opportunities across the following areas: lantern procession steward, artist liaison, information provider, public opinion surveyor, artistic installation assistant, area assistant and crew assistant.

Volunteers must be over the age of 16 and can help with just one shift, or across all three days. No specific training is required, but some roles may be more physically demanding than others.

The experience is an opportunity for people to develop skills and understand what it is like to help at one of Oxford’s most popular cultural events.

An information session will be taking place at Oxford Town Hall on Wednesday 16 November between 5pm and 7pm. Volunteers will be given all the information they need to be prepared for the festival and will have the opportunity to meet the festival team and other volunteers.

For more information, please contact Charlotte Maciszonek in the City Council’s Culture & Events Team on