Grab a bargain at the Council’s vehicle auction

There will be over 70 lots for sale at the City Council’s plant and vehicle auction, including vans, cars, tippers, handheld gardening equipment and spare parts, trailers, bicycles and workshop equipment.

The auction will be held on Saturday 16 November 2013 at Oxford Direct Services, Marsh Road Depot in Cowley. The auction will start at 11am, with the gates will be open at 9am for viewing and registration.


Buyers can also bid for a number of highly specialised lots, such as a Thwaites articulated dumper vehicle, a battery powered wheelchair and two Lister LT1 engines and gearboxes.

The sale will be operated by Milton Keynes Stadium Motor Auctions on behalf of Oxford City Council.






Headington Transport Strategy Development consultation – response from Headington Ward Councillors

The following response was sent to the County Council as part of the consultation and is reproduced in full


As City Councillors for Headington Ward, we welcome the opportunity to help shape the work on a transport strategy for the area. We are acutely aware of the problems residents and workers suffer because the transport system is near capacity and it is high time that official responses moved from being reactive to being strategic. We hope that the commitment to developing a strategy is more than just political window-dressing and is, instead, real, determined and long-term. It is also essential that the strategy is owned by the whole community, not just by the Councils and the big employers. We are, of course, pleased that you have taken our advice and are gathering responses from the residential community. We urge you to show your commitment to an on-going partnership with Headington’s residents and their representatives.


What do you consider to be the transport issues and problems in the study area (includes Barton, Headington, Marston, Risinghurst and Wood Farm)?

There are several well-known structural issues that are the root causes of the acknowledged traffic problems in the Headington area:

  1. Headington is a major employment hub for the city, with five hospitals, a University of Oxford research centre and Oxford Brookes University, along with several independent schools.
  2. For various reasons, the area has high accommodation costs, so some employees live well outside the area and commute to work in Headington.
  3. The major hospitals have constraints in terms of access from the ring road, as they are located in areas of Headington adjacent to protected sites: for example, the JR is near the Old Headington Conservation Area, and the Churchill is adjacent to the Boundary Brook and Lye Valley SSSI.
  4. Headington is also the gateway to Oxford for visitors from London and the airports, and many residents commute to jobs in London and the Thames Valley.

All these factors contribute to the problems:

  1. Road congestion at peak times, rat running through residential roads, and deterioration of road surfaces particularly in London Road, Osler Road, and Latimer Road.
  2. Headington has two air quality hotspots as measured by Oxford City Council (Air Quality Action Plan summary).
  3. Transport issues and problems for pedestrians include:
  • A well-used but dangerous crossing point in London Road at the junction with Osler Road
  • No audible signal for visually impaired pedestrians to cross at Headington Carfax, confusion between pedestrians and drivers about who has right of way at raised entrances to residential roads off London Road
  • An articulated need for a second pedestrian crossing in Windmill Road from the Bateman Street area to assist children in their travel to school.
  1. Transport issues and problems re cyclists include:
  • Fragmented cycle lanes and confusion over priority with pedestrians in shared spaces
  • Cycling on pavements by those who are less confident (and often are adults)
  • Many cycle to and from major employment and study destinations in Old Road and perceive this road to be dangerous
  • Failure to observe highway rules e.g. failing to stop at pedestrian crossings or red traffic lights.
  1. Public transport issues and problems include:
  • Bunching of buses in London Road
  • Routing of buses through a residential road which is not fit for purpose (Osler Road)
  • Unmet demand for buses to Summertown from Headington Centre
  • Night shift hospital staff unable to get on the busy no. 4 service at the Churchill stop in morning peak time
  • Buses and coaches in London Road swerving to avoid the rutted road surface
  • The removal of bus services from the Franklin Road area to Headington and Oxford.
  1. Coaches and traffic to/from independent schools cause congestion and generate parking problems in Latimer Road and London Road. There is a stated need by these schools for shuttle buses from Thornhill and the railway station.
  2. Vehicles stuck in traffic queues in London Road heading east pull out into the centre of the road and cut corners into Lime Walk and Latimer Road causing near misses
  3. Motorists perceive some junctions to be dangerous:
  • The All Saints Road/Lime Walk junction where traffic is unexpectedly encountered coming from a counter-intuitive direction
  • Headington Carfax where vehicles get stranded in the centre of the junction trying to turn right, and sometimes move only when the green man is showing for pedestrians
  1. Heavy congestion and/or avoidance of perceived hazardous junctions results in rat-running in (a) Barton Lane/St Andrew’s Road/Dunstan Road  (b) Highfield Area, including Latimer Road from Old Road  (c) Sandfield Road/Woodlands Road to Headley Way from London Road  (d) via Headington Quarry to avoid delays at Green Road roundabout
  2. There is speeding at off-peak times in Windmill Road, Lime Walk and London Road, and vehicles exceed the 20 MPH limits in residential roads including Dunstan Road, and roads off London Road and Old Road.
  3. The exit from Barton onto the Green Road roundabout causes problems for drivers as there is no traffic light to help them. Vehicles merging from slip road filtering left from Green Road roundabout to Cowley-bound eastern bypass sometimes cause near-misses.
  4. Taxis pulling in at Dorset House mount the pavement and obstruct line of sight for motorists immediately in front of a bus stop and pedestrian crossing
  5. Motorists have difficulty exiting from residential roads into heavy traffic e.g. Windmill Road from Langley Close and Rock Edge, London Road from Latimer Road, Lime Walk
  6. Parking issues can cause transport problems:
  • Lack of short stay parking means those using cash dispensers or visiting only one shop park on DYLs and in side streets causing congestion
  • The RPZ areas need revising – some residents with permits can’t find spaces and have to park on corners or on DYLs e.g. Gardiner Street, Windsor St. areas.
  • Commercial and retail staff swap around cars and vans every two hours to avoid car parking charges causing shortage of 2 or 3 hour parking for visitors e.g. in Old High Street.


What solutions do you think could form part of a strategy to address the transport issues identified?

It has to be accepted that not all the solutions to Headington’s traffic issues are in the hands of the Local Highway Authority (LHA). There are, though, many actions the LHA can and should take. Those actions should be guided by the following seven principles:

  1. Develop any strategy in engagement with the whole community, including residents and small businesses, not just the top three employers. This can be best done through constructive dialogue with the Headington Transport Group and the Headington Neighbourhood Forum as it progresses the Neighbourhood Plan.
  2. Establish clearly the transport capacity of the Headington area and be ready to object to planning applications which put intolerable strain on the transport system.
  3. Recognise that the route through Headington is perceived as the gateway to Oxford and so give it the priority it requires. As a first step, make urgent repairs to the carriageway between the Headington cross-roads and the Green Road roundabout.
  4. Accept that many of the streets of Headington are residential and were not built to sustain large vehicles. As far as possible, respect the residential nature of those streets and do not subject them to inappropriate usage.
  5. Ensure that any strategy balances the needs of all road-users – pedestrians, cyclists, bus-users and car-drivers. Wherever possible, give each category of user dedicated road space.
  6. Tackle the issues which limit the use of public transport. The introduction of cross-ticketing has certainly helped but more needs to be done to encourage travellers to choose buses over cars. This is particularly the case when a journey involves changing from one bus to another.
  7. Ensure that effective quality control mechanisms are in place to guarantee the standard of work undertaken in any changes. Specifically, review contract arrangements to ensure that there is rigorous comeback on contractors for shoddy workmanship.

Specific actions that should be taken include:

a)      Collect and analyse origin and destination survey data to establish the purpose and direction of travel through Headington, and the start and end locations of those journeys.

b)      Encourage Oxford City Council to set up more air quality monitoring points and determine what action would be taken if the air quality reaches a level that is less than adequate

c)       Rebuild surface of London Road from Green Road roundabout to Headington Carfax as a top priority for the City.

d)      Further develop Thornhill Park & Ride, recognising that it is used both by commuters into Oxford and Oxford residents commuting to London. Make it more attactive by further expansion and a fairer pricing regime. In particular, support the introduction of shuttle buses from Thornhill to the independent schools and major employers, reducing through-traffic and parking problems

e)      Carry out improvements to improve safety. These may include:

  • Improve signage of priority at raised junctions
  • Investigate whether the roadway and pavements in Windmill Road could be redesigned so that pedestrians don’t have to walk into the road to pass queues at the bus stop
  • Put in yellow boxes in London Road and Windmill Road at junctions with residential streets
  • Erect a bollard in the centre of both Latimer Road and Lime Walk near the junction with London Road so that drivers cannot cut corners when turning right off London Road

f)       Re-arrange pedestrian crossings on London Road in order both to help pedestrians and improve traffic flows. In particular,  establish a safe pedestrian crossing point at the junction of London Road and Osler Road

g)      Establish further pedestrian crossings to improve safety and help pedestrians:  introduce an additional pedestrian crossing between New Headington Bateman Street exit across Windmill Road to help traffic from side streets pull out into Windmill Road, deter speeding at off-peak times, and help parents and children travelling to school using an alternative route to London Road.

h)      Establish two joined up cycle routes through Headington, one for confident cyclists and one for under-confident and learner cyclists. Ensure that there are well-planned cycle routes to schools, major employment sites, and health centres. In particular, identify space for off road cycle track down Old Road, through liaison with the University and OUHT. Plan and implement cycling routes from Barton West to Old Road area,  Headington Centre and Library, and the JR with Highways s106 from Barton West development

i)        Set up cycle proficiency training with adult cyclists. Give errant cyclists the choice of a FPN or attendance at cycle proficiency training. Work with employers, TVP and schools to improve cycle training.

j)        Work with bus companies to the following ends:

  • Take up bunching issues with bus companies.
  • Set up direct bus services between district centres e.g. Headington and Summertown so that passengers don’t need to travel into Oxford and out again (this could reduce the number of bus journeys required).
  • Bring pressure to bear on bus companies to re-route buses away from Osler Road to Headley Way.
  • Set up specifications for bus contracts in such a way that double decker buses are used only at peak times in residential roads. Involve local councillors at officers’ specification design stage.
  • Require improved passenger collection data so that accurate records are kept of passengers using parts of journeys.

k)      Ensure that bus laybys are large enough to accommodate two buses rather than allowing queuing in the line of traffic.

l)        Investigate traffic calming in residential areas where there is rat running and speeding, and work with residents to achieve this. Investigate placing of parking slots in residential roads in such a way that parking is on alternate sides of the road to slow down traffic and make the roads less attractive to use

m)    Increase parking enforcement in side roads off the London Road (initially self-financing in Kennett Road and Stephen Road). Identify possible locations for short stay and visitor parking. Prioritise revision of RPZs in Headington. Investigate maximum limit for visitor permits and review Highways policy on visitor permits in Headington. Identify alternative parking areas for trades and commercial vehicles

Residents have also raised further suggestions with us which we forward to you for consideration. Their listing here does not imply our support for them.  We should need to consult our residents more widely and acquire more information before forming an opinion and declaring a view.

i.            The establishment of link roads from the ring road to the JR and to Old Road

ii.            Consider the possibility of running London and airport buses from hubs at Park and Rides e.g. Thornhill or re-routing a proportion of each long-distance service away from Headington

iii.            Land swaps to relocate a major employers’ site:  use vacated area to improve infrastructure/access and allow for affordable housing and growth? Promote car-sharing and car clubs by liaising with employers, and designating some parking slots for shared cars only.

iv.            Consult residents of Osler Road on possible repositioning of parking spaces and / or re-design of the road

v.            Consider other options to manage traffic at Headington Carfax, including a shared space solution


David Rundle

Ruth Wilkinson


[Please note: the formatting is slightly changed here from the original]

OxonBike Hire scheme: here’s how it works


How It Works


 sign up icon


Register for £1.00 here to get your 10 digit access code. Your unique code gives you access to all bikes 24 hours a day.
(Hint – 10 digit Access Code = 6 digit User Code + 4 digit Pass Code)
 unlock icon


To hire a bike, press ‘Start Hire’ and enter your access code. Wait for the lock key drawer to be released from the bike unit. This may take up to 60 seconds.
(Hint – You must hold the buttons for a second for it to register the press)
 ride icon


Unlock the bike using the key and store the lock in the basket. You are advised to return the key to the drawer. Press ‘Release Key’ and enter your access code to access the key at any time during your hire.
(Hint – You can lock the bike up during a hire but remember the clock is ticking!)
 lock icon


To end your hire at any Oxonbike rack, press ‘End Hire’ and enter your access code. Lock the bike securely and return the key to the drawer. Your hire will end once the ‘On Hire’ light goes out. This may take up to 60 seconds.
(Hint – You must wait for all the lights to go out with no errors)


 HIRE DURATION < 30 mins. 0.5 – 1 hr. 1 – 2 hrs. 2 – 3 hrs. 3 – 6 hrs. 6 – 24 hrs.
 COST Free £1.00 £2.50 £7.50 £15.00 £30.00
You will be billed each month for your hires. Login to your account to keep track of how much you are spending.

Consultation: improving bus priority near Green Rd roundabout

Oxfordshire County Council is consulting the public on its proposals to improve bus priority in the vicinity of Green Road roundabout, Headington.

There will be a drop-in session from 4pm to 8pm on Thursday 18th July at Headington Quarry Village Hall (Jubilee Room – entrance in Margaret Road) where county council staff will be able to discuss the scheme in more detail.

They are also taking the opportunity to carry out a formal consultation on the proposed changes to the extents of the bus lane at the Thornhill Park and Ride site.

Want to see the maps? Then come along to our next Headington Ward Focus meeting on Wed 10 July from 6.00-8.00pm at the Headington Baptist Church Hall in Old High Street. We shall make sure we have copies on display

Please note that the closing date for this consultation is 25th July 2013.

Security Tips for Cyclists

Every day a number of cycle bikes are stolen from in and around Oxford city. Thames Valley Police are tackling the problem but ask for your help by following our Bike Security Tips.

  • Register your bike with for free. Phone 0800 587 4739 or email
  • Keep your BikeRegister logbook in a safe place.
  • Use two good quality Sold Secure ( approved locks to secure your bike.
  • Don’t leave your bike in isolated places.
  • Park safely and considerately; never leave your bike in a place where it will be a danger or obstruction to others.
  • Always lock your bike when leaving it, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • Secure your bike to proper stands or robust street furniture.
  • Lock your bike through the frame, not the wheels. Secure or remove wheels.
  • Remove smaller parts and accessories that can’t be secured, especially lights, pumps and quick-release saddles.
  • Take a photo of your bike and upload to

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.

Whose roads are they, anyway? A lively Ward Focus Meeting

Thanks to all of you who turned up to our latest Ward Focus Meeting last evening. The main item was cycling and pedestrian issues and Ruth had done a grand job of organising some invited speakers — Ben Smith and Owen South from County, Headington resident Simon Hunt from Cyclox, and Sushila Dhall from Oxford Pedestrians’ Association. We were also fortunate to have Inspector Marc Tarbit from the police in the audience.

We certainly had a lively and wide-ranging discussion which encompassed particular problem spots like Cuckoo Lane and Old Road, as well as wider issues — from the lack of enforcement of 20mph to the problems of cycling appearing and then disappearing in several stretches of the area. A recurring theme was the issue of cycling on pavements and of ‘shared use’ where cycle routes are put on pavements; these got a general thumbs-down and it was suggested that, in some places, moving a bus shelter forward could create less of a conflict between pedestrian and cycle use. That’s one that needs to be thought about further. Cyclox particularly stressed the need for a dual network which recognises that cyclists are not one community but involve some who are confident and speedy while others are less so. The County could report on their aspirations for ‘quiet routes’ through Headington — these are at an early stage.

It was apparent that these were issues in which local people have a lot of investment and where an on-going dialogue will be important. There’s an open door with County officers and interest from the police, so Ruth and I are keen to encourage a working party to look at these issues, develop specific objectives and work away to see them happen. We already have some names of interested residents. Do you want to get involved? If so, do drop Ruth or myself a line.

Decision Thurs 16 on change to cycle by-pass Old Road-Gipsy Lane

The agenda papers have just been released by the County Council for the Cabinet Member for Transport’s Decision Meeting on Thursday 16 February – click here to see the agenda document, and you can then click on the links to the accompanying report

Approval is sought to allow the legal use of part of the footway by cyclists. If approval is not given, minor works will provide a widened footway for use by pedestrians only

This applies to the stretch of road at the junction of Gipsy Lane and Old Road and would enable cyclists to turn left into Old Road avoiding the traffic lights