New shelters finally arrive!

We’re delighted to see the new shelters installed at Headington Car Park, it’s taken a while but we’ve got there in the end! We have asked the officer to investigate costs of placing advertising boards in the shelters – it would be great if local businesses could use them for promotional purposes.

car park shelter

Have your say on Park and Ride charges

Proposed introduction of

charges for long-stay use of

Thornhill and Water Eaton Park

& Ride sites

The Thornhill site is regularly full by 9am which means that many who wish to use it cannot do so. Approval has been given to expand the Thornhill site and work is due to commence in the autumn. The site is in Green Belt and the extension was approved on condition that it was managed in such a way as to encourage sustainable travel into Oxford – rather than elsewhere – and that there was a limit on the maximum stay allowed for parking.

The County Council is therefore proposing to introduce charging for those who stay beyond 11 hours, which is considered to be the number of hours expected for normal work, business or shopping purposes in Oxford, and to limit the maximum stay at the sites to 72 hours. The proposed charges are as follows:-

  • Parking for up to 11 hours                           free
  • Parking for between 11 hours and 24 hours – £3
  • Parking for between 24 hours and 48 hours – £6
  • Parking for between 48 hours and 72 hours – £9

These charges will be waived for disabled Blue Badge holders, cycles and motorcycles. In addition, electric vehicles using the charging points will also not pay.

Payment of the charge will be by using machines at the sites or via the internet or mobile phone – there will be no need to display a ticket on vehicles. The two sites have been equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment which will be used to match number plates of vehicles entering and leaving the sites and so enable the duration of stay to be calculated. If payment is required but has not been made, site staff will find it and issue an Excess Charge Notice (‘parking ticket’); such Notices will also be issued for vehicles that park incorrectly or stay beyond the 72 hours maximum. Each Notice will be for £100, discounted by half if paid within 14 days.

You can register for the consultation here and submit your comments online before 14 September

Local Sustainable Transport Fund – a summary

We are being asked lots of questions about what the LSTF is. There is more guidance on the County Council website, but here is a brief summary.

The £5m bid for the project entitled Supporting Employment  Growth and Accessing Higher Education and Healthcare in Oxford was successful.  The majority of this funding is revenue but supported by £2.8million of capital from the County Council and Developer contributions.  The funding covers the period from now until the end of 2014/15.  The principal objective is to deliver better access to employment and health facilities in the Headington area through development of Park & Ride, and focuses on the expansion of Thornhill Park & Ride (to around 1,400 spaces) which has planning permission.  This extension will be complemented by:

*        innovative new bus services (using low carbon vehicles) linking P&R (including Water Eaton as well as Thornhill) to the hospitals, Brookes and Oxford University Headington campuses including Bus Stop upgrades to Premium Route standard; 

*        new bus priority along the London Road, to complete this project;

*        measures to encourage walking and cycling for  trips to local destinations from Thornhill (including a proposed cycle hub / hire scheme);

*        a comprehensive ‘Travel Choices’ project including working with key employers.

The  construction of the Thornhill extension was initially scheduled for June 2012 with completion by February 2013 – but timing was dependent on negotiations with landowner (Shotover) impacting on environmental works.  Selective charging of long stay users (principally London bound) of the site was proposed from April 2012 and would need to take into account the need to encourage hospital use and to cater for shift patterns.

Outline design is starting on the London Road bus lane which will look at options for extending bus priority on this corridor in both directions.  This may offer opportunities to improve the efficiency of operation of Headington Roundabout by reducing queues tailing back to it.  Public consultation on options is initially programmed for Spring 2012 with construction in May 2013, although there may be opportunities to bring this forward.

The other elements in the programme are currently at the scoping or preliminary stage:  bus stop upgrades, new bus services on the completion of the scheme, and cycle and pedestrian measures.  The travel choices project has started with travel surveys in early 2012 followed by personalised and workplace travel planning activities in early 2013.

Assistance for the disabled in H Car Park

Handrails will be installed shortly at Headington Car Park to assist mobility impaired shoppers to access Waitrose from the disabled car parking spaces. We are grateful to the City Council and the Waitrose store for jointly funding this access initiative, following our intervention on behalf of a shopper who finds the existing slopes too much for her without extra support.

Headington Car Park omitted from development plans

The agenda for the next Full Council meeting has been made available.  Seven sites have not been included within the Proposed Submission for development. Here is the section on Headington Car Park.

Headington Car Park – the potential loss of car parking and the effect on trade at shops in Headington was of considerable concern to the local community with a petition received of nearly 3,500 signatories against any development on this site. The site is surrounded by the Old Headington Conservation Area and for development to be viable it would most likely need to be built over a number of storeys which could adversely affect the conservation area. At this stage it is difficult to know whether this is deliverable and achievable and if it could retain sufficient car parking. For these reasons it should not be allocated.

It is still technically possible for this decision to be reversed at Full Council on 19 December, but this is fairly unlikely. We shall report back to Headington ward residents with the final decision on Tuesday 20 December at our Headington Ward Focus meeting, Headington Baptist  Church, Old High Street, 6.00 – 8.00pm.

Congratulations to all our residents and businesses for voicing our opposition so effectively!

Saving Headington Car Park

The news is out: following a strong, year-long campaign by Headington residents and businesses, planning officers at the Town Hall have accepted our arguments and decided Labour’s plan to build on the car park should be dropped.You read that right: we are about to win the fight to save our local car park.
So, first of all, thank you to all of you who have supported the petition. Together with local residents and businesses, we have worked hard to make sure the strength of opposition to Labour’s plan is heard loud and clear.

It has been obvious that we have all the arguments on our side. Labour, for their part, have only said in public, in the words of Cllr Darke, that the plan is ’eminently reasonable’ and, indeed, ‘essential’. They have failed to mention that the plan for this site was to maximise the capital receipt which would mean building student flats that would have given no direct help to the very real housing crisis we have in our city.

We have pushed them to see sense — to realise that building on this car-park would be a disaster for the local community and even attempting to do it would be a costly fight Labour would lose. They have refused to back down — up to now.

The good news is that, finally, Labour have backed down on their hare-brained scheme. We understand that the planners have recommended that the car-park is crossed off the list of building sites. After an internal fight, Labour have decided not to over-rule the Council’s officers.

But it’s not over yet. There is no official decision — that should come on 19th December at a meeting of the full Council. So, we need to keep up the pressure.

And we will confirm the outcome at our next Ward Focus Meeting on 20th December: join us there.

Of course, this is only one part of the battle. Labour have let the car-park get run-down while hiking the prices for parking. We are working to get improvements for our district centre and we will continue the fight!

Why build on Headington Car Park?

In our recent ward survey, a number of residents asked us why anyone would want to build on the Headington car park, and to publish this on our website.

Cllr Darke wrote a comment piece in the Oxford Mail in answer to the question ” Should Headington Car Park be built on?”  We have been unable to find any other rationale.

Click on the link below to read those comments.

why build on the car park



Car park update

In response to all those of you who are anxious about the future of the Headington Car Park, the Sites and Housing document (which includes proposals on this) is due to be discussed at Council on 19th December, as this is the stage where full Council needs to decide on draft policies which will be consulted on and then submitted for examination.  It is going straight to Council rather than to CEB beforehand, so the papers should be available approximately one week before the 19th.

Car park petition

We have been asked by a number of residents in our ward and by shoppers living outside Headington where they can go to sign the petition opposing the “preferred option” to put housing development on the Headington Car Park

The following businesses are making available petition pages:

  • Jacobs & Field,
  • Monaco
  • The pet shop
  • Headington Homewares
  • Oxford Design
  • Holland & Barrett
  • Brambles,
  • Pen to Paper
  • Crown paper shop
  • Scott Fraser
  • the Richards surgery.

The petition will close on 5 September.

A number of residents have helped with the petition, including Jill Cummings and Stella Welford