Parking bays to be re-painted

Following fierce lobbying by councillors over non-enforceability, the County Council has found the money to re-paint parking bays and double yellow lines in Bickerton Road and Stapleton Road

  • signs for “no parking” will appear next week
  • the work will be done in sections to maintain some parking in each of the roads
  • the work is likely to take 3 days
  • the work is scheduled for 3rd-5th October

It’s good to know that this will be done before the energy pipe works in adjacent roads.

Bravo County Council! Changes to parking permit service

Thanks to residents for telling Customer Services Manager Mark Peet your views at our Ward Focus Meeting. He has investigated your issues and reports back below on actions taken.

As promised I have a further update on improvements to the Residents and Visitors Parking Permit service.

In July I  advised that I would be looking at further ways to improve our online service and document validation service for residents, in particular around the Headington area, who are unable to upload documents as part of the application process.

I am pleased to inform you I have made changes to reflect the need to improve both of these areas.

  1. Online Payments – As part of the online application process for Resident and Visitor Permits, residents in Controlled Parking Zones can now complete the full application online including paying for their permits. There is now a secure, safe and PCI compliant way to pay for residents when applying. This service was made available from Monday 8thAugust and we have had over 100 applicants in less than a week choosing to apply and pay using this service.
  2. Document Validation – On the 8thand 9th of September our team in Headington Library will be training in Document Validation which will enable them to validate parking documentation. This service will then be available in Headington Library from week commencing 12th September. This means customers will be able to validate the documents we need as part of the application processes without needing to send them into us. We will simply check the documents and hand them back to the resident once we have confirmed they are correct.

It’s good to see positive changes being made by the County Council and an officer keen to come out to public meetings to listen to and act upon our residents’ concerns.

How to apply or renew your parking permit

The Parking Shop is moving online and will be closing on Tuesday 31st May. To apply or renew a Parking Permit, apply for Visitors’ Permits or pay a fine, please visit

If you are unsure about using the internet or don’t have access, call the Customer Service Centre on 0845 310 1111 from 1st June or if you require help prior to the 1st June please call The Parking Shop Team on 0845 634 4466. For any other query please visit

Changes to parking permits renewal procedure

The County Council has notified us of the following administrative change.





NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Oxfordshire County Council proposes to make the above order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The order will further amend the Oxford controlled parking zone orders (listed below) in respect of the arrangements for the issue of residents and visitor permits as follows:

1) A residents’ permit will ordinarily be valid for 12 months from the date of issue. This will replace the fixed expiry date for all resident’s permits for an entire zone.

2) A qualifying resident will continue to be entitled to an allocation of 50 visitors’ permits each year (first batch of 25 free of charge and the second batch of 25 for £20 save that qualifying residents at the Kassam Stadium zones will continue to be entitled to their annual allocation free of charge). The annual allocation will operate from the first time the applicant is issued with a batch of 25 permits free of charge and that will become his personal renewal date.

3) Transitional provisions will apply to visitors’ permits so that a qualifying resident who has already received his free allocation of visitors’ permits during the current “fixed year” for his zone will not be entitled to a further batch of 25 visitors’ permits free of charge until the expiry of that year. During this transitional period current arrangements will therefore continue to apply.

4) There is no change to current arrangements for visitors’ permits for short term residents.

Documents giving more detailed particulars of the Orders are available for public inspection at Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road OX1 1ND.

Objections to the proposals, specifying the grounds on which they are made, and any other representations, should be sent in writing to the Director for Environment and Economy (ref: DG) at the address given below no later than 20th May 2016. The Council will consider objections and representations received in response to this Notice. They may be disseminated widely for these purposes and made available to the public.

The Director for Environment, Economy and Customer Services Oxfordshire County Council, Speedwell House, Oxford, OX1 1NE.

Parking spaces in Bury Knowle Park: do we need more?

That’s our hot topic at tomorrow’s Ward Focus meeting – a senior manager from Direct Services at the City Council will be there to hear your views!

Date: Tuesday 23rd February

Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Place: Headington Baptist Church, Old High Street. OX3 9HW

All this and Open Session for your comments too! Free of charge. All welcome!

Bring your councillors to account and raise any Headington issue in our Open Session. All welcome! 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

Temporary parking arrangements during the energy works

The County has agreed with the Trust and the contractor that visitors’ parking permits will be available for residents temporarily affected by the works.

It has been agreed that 25 Visitor’s parking permits will initially be issued free of charge and resident’s will have a choice of the neighbouring parking zones for which they wish to have permits issued. If the works take longer than programmed OCC will consider issuing a second batch at that time. This arrangement is exclusively for the issue of Visitor’s permits so any persons wanting a specific Resident parking permit for a vehicle ( in their designated zone only) will need to pay accordingly as per normal protocols.

Visitor’s parking permits can be issued to any resident over the age of 17 (and regardless of whether they have a vehicle or not) upon production of a completed application form and supporting official proof of residency. This can either be a fully signed, termed, tenancy agreement, a most recent council tax bill or a bank statement/ utilities bill that is dated within the last 3 months. The application form and supporting document can either be presented in person at the Parking Shop on Speedwell Street, posted or scanned to the email address,

for them to be despatched first class. OCC pay all postage costs, with the exception of any requests for special delivery.

Here is the Parking Permit Application form you will need to fill in if you live in the affected areas and want to apply for visitors’ permits in advance.

Vital Energi has prepared a presentation on the various phases of the works. This can be seen on the Trust’s website (you have to scroll down to find it)

Vital Energi has set up a dedicated telephone number 0800 612 4039, and for specific questions an email address:  Both have been established directly with the Trust project team and Vital Energi to respond to any queries related to this project.

There are signs that communication is improving from the hospitals’ Trust regarding the energy pipe works, and we look forward to working more closely with the Trust’s new communications officer who takes up position on 4 January.

We are asking that details of the above permit process are included in any impending leaflet drop by the Trust and/or contractor and will include these details in our next Focus leaflet.

There is currently on-going discussion about how the visitors’ parking permits will be funded as the County Council believes this cost should be borne by the project, not by taxpayers. The Parking Shop staff will keep a record all such additional visitors’ permits so that the total cost can be determined.

The implications of this alternative provision may mean that there is additional pressure on parking spaces In Highfield, New Headington and Central and North Headington.


County Council’s position statement on energy pipe project

We are publishing the Chief Legal Officer’s email dated 29/12 in full. It explains why the County Council believes it has undertaken its role (limited to granting permission) lawfully but it is not ‘legal advice’ as such. Those wishing to explore the possibility of taking legal action will need to seek their own independent advice.

  • I am not aware of all the communication that has (or has not) taken place.  Clearly officers considered they should have done more and you have received an apology.  I am not sure I can add much to that.  I believe the County did urge the Trust to undertake consultation as they are the key players in this Scheme.  Fundamentally, the County’s role is to ensure they have permission to undertake work on the Highway – not unlike many applications for permission the Council receives…
  • In terms of Vital Energi – acting for the Trust – they have not claimed statutory powers to undertake works to the Highway – such as, say, a mainstream utility company.  The route for those who are not a statutory undertaker is to seek permission to undertake work from the Highway Authority.  Vital Energi are a licensee, not a statutory undertaker.  Having said that, it is a condition of the licence that they abide by the provisions of the New Roads and Street Works Act.
  • Licence applications were originally applied for in January 2014 but these were not granted although detailed discussions did take place about the work Vital Energi wanted to undertake.  That resulted, finally, in further applications being made on the 28 October 2015 and granted on the 21 December 2015 – I can confirm that the works would be classed a ‘major works’ for the purposes of the NRSWA.
  • Ordinarily a licence holder is required to give 3 months’ notice from the date when the licence is applied for, not from when it is granted.  The County agreed start dates within that 3 month period, mainly due to the proximity of other scheduled works and to start earlier was considered to be the least disruptive option.
  • As to the Executive Arrangements Regulations, the granting of a licence is a function delegated to officers.  It would not be a key decision because the County’s Constitution and the relevant Regulations define a ‘key decision’ as one which is likely to (a) involve the County in significant expenditure (which this does not) or (b): ‘to be significant in terms of its effects on communities living or working in an area comprising two or more electoral divisions in the County’
  • As will be clear, a licence has been granted on each individual street, not for the whole Scheme.  I am not aware (although have not checked in detail) that these would involve two electoral divisions.  However, even if they did, the term ‘significant’ is defined as 25% of the people living or working in the area.  I do not believe that that threshold has been met.  As such, the grant of the licences would not be a key decision which requires an Cabinet/Executive decision.
  • In terms of the subsoil, that is really a question for the Trust.  The County’s principal concern is with the Highway fabric and as much subsoil as is needed to keep the Highway intact.  The ownership of the subsoil and notification that may need to be made to the owners of that is, as I say, a matter for the Trust undertaking the work.
  • I would not profess to know the detail of the City’s planning powers, but certainly the County’s role is restricted to granting permission under the New Roads and Street Works Act to those who wish to install apparatus  in the Highway or break open the highway for this purpose.  Accepting that communications can always be improved, I believe we have carried out that function appropriately and lawfully.  I note you are seeking your own advice on the planning issue.
  • In terms of the parking issue I can confirm this has been actively considered and the County has agreed that affected residents may apply for Visitors Permits to park in adjoining streets, outside of their designated Controlled Parking Zone.  The issue of funding of that has yet to be addressed as between the County and the Trust, but that does not affect the right of residents to apply.

Details re the visitors’ parking permits follow in the next email.

We have asked for further details regarding the “proximity of other scheduled works” which was referred to above, so that we can understand why the period of notice of less than 3 months for major works was considered to be the least disruptive option – we are expecting a further email on this later in the week.

We have also queried the dates on the temporary traffic order notices issued on 29/12/15 – there is a discrepancy between dates displayed in notices on street and those on the TTRO for All Saints Road, and the end date for the Sandfield Road works is currently listed on the TTRO as Tuesday 22 April – it’s likely that this should read Friday 22 April but we are asking for clarification.


Access to Headington proposals: response from Roz, Altaf and Ruth

The response from Headington Lib Dem councillors to the County’s proposals are now published.

Our response is in three parts:

Comments on the proposals: click on  Headington Lib Dem councillors response to Access to Headington consultation 150807

Appendix giving additional comments received from residents: click on Appendix 150807

Comments on the consultation process: click on Headington Lib Dem councillors concerns re consultation process 150807

Here is the executive summary:

The Access to Headington consultation was not fit for purpose.  There was little context or factual data to inform the decision-making of residents, many of whom were not made aware of the proposals until late in the day. (see separate document on the consultation)

We believe that these proposals do not achieve their objective to support health and well-being, and reduce transport’s environmental impact.

Transport congestion in Headington is most acute for approximately 4 hours a day, five days a week during term-times.  These proposals will significantly affect Headington residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. Impact on residents is disproportionate.

The proposals focus on incoming commuter traffic from outside Headington, but do not take local context and local traffic needs of the whole community sufficiently into account.

We oppose the removal of an as yet unspecified number of trees and verges proposed by the County Council, (see general comments, section 3).

We believe that better alternative proposals for road layout and cycle improvements can be made that are more environmental sustainable, and list some ideas proposed by local residents (see projects).

We do not believe the current proposals for cycling improvements give sufficient priority for the safety of cyclists at junctions. We believe that, where possible, cycle routes should be segregated e.g. adjacent to Marston Road. If carriage width allows, we believe that mandatory cycle lanes should be accommodated, but not at the expense of the loss of trees (see general comments, section 6)

We oppose the proposals to remove on-street parking for reasons stated (see general comments, section 4).

We have concerns about the scheme’s impact on access to parking and/or frontages for disabled residents on Cherwell Drive, Headley Way and Windmill Road where existing on-street parking including disabled spaces could be removed, and this raises equalities concerns. (see section 1, area 2)

We believe that greater priority should be given to pedestrians in the next round of proposals. (general comments, section 5)

We believe these proposals will have little or no impact on modal shift by those who work in Headington.

We have sent these comments to County Cllrs Ian Hudspeth and David Nimmo-Smith, and to the County Transport Planning team.

Pavement parking: Police advice

We have asked our Neighbourhood Sergeant for advice. She confirms:

PCSO’s can give a vehicle a ticket if they are obstructing the footway as long as they can show some one was obstructed. If there is a vehicle fully blocking the pavement then the 101 number can be phoned and if there is a PCSO available, which there often is, one can come out and issue a ticket. I will let the PCSOs know to patrol the area in order to try and prevent future occurrences.