Next phase of Highfield traffic works begins

We are informed by County that the junction of Old Road with Lime Walk + London Road with Latimer Road should be completed by tomorrow, subject to weather conditions.  They will be starting the final junction entry treatment at the junction of London Road with Lime Walk on Wednesday 8 February for 9 days, subject to favourable weather.

They will also be re-visiting the Lime Walk/All Saints cross road junction for 1 day on Monday 20 February (again, subject to favourable weather) to complete the installation of the red coloured imprint material at the pedestrian crossing points.  They will have to close-off both legs of Lime Walk at the cross roads, but  will keep All Saints Road open.

Safety fears in Highfield

Lime Walk closed

With the closure of Lime Walk and further works affecting Latimer Road, Highfield traffic levels through Bickerton and Stapleton Roads are causing much distress, noise and inconvenience to local residents.

The volume of traffic passing through Stapleton Road in particular has increased and it is noticeable that many vans and minicabs are using this route.

Speeding and safety concerns in Stapleton Road

Oncoming traffic weaves in and out between parked cars, and vehicles are moving far too fast in this 20 MPH area in order to try and reach the other end of the street to ‘beat’ traffic coming the other way.

Those with drop kerbs for off road parking are finding their drives blocked by vehicles pulling in to let others pass.

We have contacted Thames Valley Police and they have set up increased patrols to sort out traffic problems. We are working with Highfield Residents’ Association to arrange a meeting with private hire and taxi companies to try and tackle speeding. We have asked the Oxford Pedestrians’ Association for support, and have lobbied the Cabinet Member Cllr Rodney Rose and the traffic planners to make improvements.

One of our paramount concerns is that county transport planners are intending to place timber bollards 450mm back from the edge of the dropped pavements at All Saints Junction to allow “wriggle room” for vehicles turning. It cannot be safe for vehicles and pedestrians to share footway. We have asked for advice from the officer who ensures highway safety but he has supported the traffic planners in this. We continue to battle on.

News on meeting with County planners

Ruth has supplied the County planners with a transcript of all the comments we have received from you on the All Saints/Lime Walk junction

Officers have agreed to look more closely at the lighting, drainage and sight line issues

They feel that the corner cutting across dropped kerbs by vehicles will stop when they put up timber bollards at the end of the month (6-8 in total) They will consult Highfield Residents Association on where these should go

The corner cutting is happening at the top of Latimer Road too, so we need to get this sorted out before there is a casualty

Officers want to stick with the idea of not having priority signage as they believe this makes drivers more cautious. This premise was challenged in our meeting!

The possibility of painting 20MPH roundels on the road has not been ruled out, but officers want to monitor the  speed of traffic following the works before a decision is taken on whether or not this is necessary

The County team is meeting reps from Highfield RA on Thursday

Update on works at All Saints/Lime Walk junction

Ruth and colleagues have been listening to the views of residents in Lime Walk, Stapleton Road, Cecil Sharp Place, Nursery Close and New High Street concerning the ‘new look’ junction near All Saints Church.

We are collating responses we have been given and have scheduled a meeting with County Transport Officers on Tuesday morning.

The line markings have helped a great deal but there is still concern from motorists about right of way and sight lines, and some pedestrians have witnessed vehicles mounting pavements via the dropped kerbs as they turn.

The timber bollards are on order but have not yet arrived. Ruth and David have agreed with County Officers that gully emptying and drainage problems will be resolved and that the lighting at the junction can be re-tested

We are working alongside residents’ associations on this issue. If you have not yet been emailed a survey or been in when we called to see you, and you want to tell us your comments, please contact us as soon as possible.

All Saints/Lime Walk junction – is it working?

David and Ruth have been surveying some of the local residents in Stapleton Road, Lime Walk, All Saints Road and Nursery Close about the ‘new look’ junction. We have also consulted New Headington Residents’ Association exec and have emailed out a short survey to residents in Bateman St, Kennett Rd., Piper St., Perrin St., Windsor Street and Gardiner Street to get a balanced view of people’s concerns, and are aware that Highfield Residents’ Association is also in contact with the traffic planners on this issue.

We shall continue to survey residents about the junction over the weekend, and have raised a number of initial concerns with the County Transport Planning team who are looking into them and getting back to us.

The issues we have brought to their attention  already include: 

  • drainage after heavy rain,
  • the need for a kerbed edging at the corners of the junction (concerns for safety of young children scooting into the road without realising etc. and vehicles mounting pavements via dropped kerbs),
  • lighting,
  • signage (including priority arrows), 
  • inadequate lines of sight past parked cars – cars getting ‘boxed in’ behind parked cars and being unable to re-emerge safely, as well as how the junction is likely to be ‘finished off’.It’s important to remember that the scheme is not yet fully implemented as there is more work starting on raised entry treatments and works to Stapleton, Bickerton and Latimer Roads. It is too early to decide whether the scheme  has achieved a reduction in volume and speed of traffic.

 Some pedestrians have told us they are finding it easier to cross Lime Walk, and we have had some positive emails and responses from cyclists. There is some anecdotal evidence that the volume and speed of motor vehicles has lessened, but the worry is that this may have displaced to neighbouring residential streets, specifically Stapleton Road – we won’t be able to gauge the full extent of that properly until the rest of the works are finished.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your views on this issue. It’s important that your ward councillors have an overall balanced view of resident opinion so that we represent you effectively. You can find our contact details under the Contact Us tab on this page. We will update this page when county officers respond

Temporary parking restrictions in York Road

Following on from Mike’s earlier comments, we asked officers to make sure there’s enough turning space into York Road from Old Road for diverted buses and traffic. We have now had a response.

 Although there is quite a length of parking restriction in York Road near Old Road, we have requested suspension of a length of parking bay to ease movements on this route.

We’re also seeking clarification re the junction of Margaret Rd and Windmill Rd

Highfield/Old Road roadworks start 26 September

The County Council is carrying out carriageway and pedestrian footway upgrades from 26 September – 4 December in the following locations:

Old Road, The Slade, Windmill Road, Lime Walk, Latimer Road, All Saints Road, Highfield Avenue, Finch Close, Valentia Road, Stapleton Road, Bickerton Road, Horspath Driftway, Girdlestone Road, Dene Road and Cinnaminta Road

Traffic Management during the road works

In order to carry out the works safely and efficiently, a number of road closures are required.

These will be individually noticed on site and county officers will write to those more locally and directly affected by them prior to these closures.

The closures will be in operation on a full-time basis whilst those local works are being completed and diversion routes will be signed.

At other locations, works will be undertaken within temporary traffic signals in place.

David and I have received a couple of complaints that some affected residents have not been notified, please let us know if this is not the case

Decision time on Highfield Traffic Scheme

Last week’s Transport Planning Decisions meeting at County Hall was re-scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday 31 March, sadly at a  time when some key players cannot attend.

The funding allocated to the current Highfield Traffic scheme proposals is much less than has been discussed with Highfield Residents Association in the recent past. Residents are very concerned that the new proposals are ‘watered down’ and do not address the fundamental need for traffic speed reduction in residential streets

The proposal for an extra zebra crossing across Old Road near the junction with Stapleton Road has produced little in the way of positive resident feedback during the consultation, and we believe that a case can be made that the money earmarked for it would be better spent on putting in pinch points to reduce speeding traffic in Lime Walk and to introduce staggered parking which would effectively slow down traffic in neighbouring streets

Ruth and David are unable to attend the TD meeting at such short notice but have tabled a paper for consideration by the Cabinet Member for Transport.

We know that Windmill Road residents and Osler Road residents experience severe problems in terms of traffic congestion, volume, and speed. We are currently organising a public meeting for Osler Road residents in April with representatives from bus companies, the NHS trust and the county to establish how these issues can be addressed

Consultations affecting our ward

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it tricky to keep up with all the consultations that are happening at the moment, especially as many are online and can be easily overlooked!

A pre-application briefing has been sent to residents groups by the University of Oxford relating to a prospective redevelopment of land at their Old Road Campus. A meeting will be held on 20/1/11 by the University with residents’ group reps. There is no application submitted to date, but if you want more details please contact your local residents’ group or get in touch with David or me

The City Council has a number of consultations happening right now. These include:

  1. Parks and open spaces (ends 31 Dec)
  2. Housing strategy (ends 17 Jan)
  3. The budget 2011-2015 (ends 31 Dec)
  4. Implementation of dog control orders (ends 31Jan)

These can all be accessed via the City Council’s consultation page here.

Then there are the County’s consultations!

  1. Draft Local Transport Plan (ends 9 Jan)
  2. Oxford, Headington: Highfield and Old Road Transport Improvements (ends 12 Jan)
  3. County’s 2011/12 budget proposals (ends 10 Jan)

There will be an open meeting for Highfield residents to discuss the revised Highfield scheme on 6 JanuaryThe consultation on whether funding should be discontinued by the County Council for Bury Knowle Library will be held between March and May 2011.

We have called in the decision on increased car parking charges in the Headington District Centre (by double in one case!)  for further scrutiny on 10 January. The paper showing these prospective increases can be accessed here – please click on the link from item 8 to view it. If you have any comments on this document please email either David or me as soon as possible

Highfield Traffic proposals on hold

We have just heard this lunchtime that the county council has put the Highfield Traffic Management Scheme proposals on hold, and that the County officer responsible for the scheme has given apologies for this evening’s area committee meeting

The responses from local councillors on the current scheme will still be sent to the County’s transport planning officer for consideration in the drafting of the report, and the responses from residents will still be collated, analysed and made public at some unspecified point in the future

More importantly there is an implication that the money for this proposed scheme may be spent elsewhere in Headington rather than in the Highfield (and New H) area, so long as it helps reduce through traffic in and around developer sites at the NOC and the Brambles, Latimer Road. This will be decided in line with the capital spending review. It would be possible, for example, for the County to decide that this money should be used as part of the Park and Ride expansion at Thornhill to run public transport to and from hospitals in Headington thus reducing through traffic by drivers through Headington residential streets. Please note: this is only one alternative option

The discussion of options arising from the Highfield Traffic Management Scheme consultation at the Cabinet Member for Transport’s meeting in September has been pulled from that agenda