Twenty questions for the energy pipe press launch tomorrow

Here is our latest list of questions sent in by residents


  1. What are the working hours? Will it include weekend working? On what dates will be the work be in my area?
  2. If work starts at either end simultaneously, will Old Rd and London Rd be affected at the same time? Will whole roads be closed either end?

How does it work?

  1. Can they explain the technology? How much carbon reduction do they intend to achieve?at what cost? and cost/ ton? What is the benchmark above which it becomes unaffordable? if the planners are considering all aspects of carbon reduction then consideration should also be given to the manufacture of the steel tubing, (China?) fittings, and insulation plus the cost of storage and transport to site, storage, reloading onto vehicles to the various sections of the site during the installation. The fuel used in excavation vehicles, back filling and testing plus the non green effect of the traffic congestion that will occur throughout Headington throughout the contract period.
  2. How large will the trench be and what about all the other cables, drains, sewage. Size of pipes too
  3. Is it steam or water? If it leaks under high pressure, would this damage road and paths?

Extent of the disruption

  1. How will noise and dust be controlled?
  2. Will pedestrian access along streets be affected?
  3. How will highways and footpaths be kept clean?
  4. Can we see the detailed construction plan?
  5. Can we have our pavements and footpaths resurfaced following the work? What quid pro quo can we obtain for all the disturbance?
  6. Protection of trees? In Stapleton Road for example the line is very close to the kerb so difficult to see how trees can be protected?
  7. What are the arrangements for emergency vehicles?
  8. Will refuse collections operate as normal?


  1. What arrangements for parking for contractors’ vehicles?
  2. What alternative car parking arrangements will be made for residents who may be unable to park near their house/in their drives while the work is in their street?

Communications strategy

16 Why hold a press launch – there could only be 4 or 5 press outfits interested, and why not have arranged to meet community groups already?

17 Have commercial and institutional organisations been informed? e.g. Taxi companies, delivery vehicles to/from main shops e.g. Blanchfords,  Online grocery providers, Mace on  ORC, Brookes, particularly re arrival at start of Semester 2 (NB  at Ward Focus  it transpired that Manager of Stagecoach  was not aware )

18 Have the emergency services even been informed?

Consultation with residents

19 Can we have a liaison group comprising residents reps, councillors and the contractors to meet regularly throughout the project do deal with residents issues and various construction contingences? This worked well during the Brookes JHB project.


20 Who will enforce the agreed working arrangements? What are the statutory controls – as opposed to the contractual conditions?

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.

Windmill Road latest

Here’s the action we’ve taken on issues raised by residents:

  • pavement defects near the Sue Ryder shop will be made good inside 24 hours
  • overhanging vegetation at 34 will be cut back within 28 days
  • owners of bins left out on pavements will receive advice from the Community Support Officer

Here are the latest speeding stats in Windmill Road from Thames Valley Police

3 speeding operations have been carried out in the 30mph section with the following results:

18/07/2014 1900-2000 hours – out of 197 cars 3 were travelling over 30mph

09/08/2014 1400-1500 hours – out of 224 cars 4 were travelling over 30mph

29/10/2014 0830-0930 hours – out of 86 cars 0 were travelling over 30mph.

Therefore out of the 507 cars that were monitored, only 7 were over 30mph (the fastest going at 38mph (5mph over the speed a ticket could be given at)). As a percentage only 1.38% of cars were speeding, and then not excessively.

The accident data shows there were 2 accidents in Windmill road in 2013 which resulted in injury. One accident was caused by a car pulling out of a junction and hitting a cyclist. The other was a car wing mirror clipping a cyclist. In both cases speed was not a contributing factor. The Police only record accident data where there is an injury caused.

In 2011 Speed data was captured over a 24 hour period using one of the black boxes. This showed the average speed over a 24 hour period was 23.1 miles per hour and when looking at the 85th percentile, the average speed was 29.6. It is the 85th percentile that tends to be looked at when deciding if a there is a problem or not. As this is still within the 30mph limit, then the data shows there is not a speeding problem on Windmill road that requires further resources in relation to increasing road safety.

All Saints Road – a building site?

New High Street residents have reported to us the problems they are having with parking at the moment while the builders’ vans are so much in evidence. Parking is never plentiful in the area and with two construction sites operating at the same time, we understand how significant this problem must be for everyone.

We asked the parking enforcement officers to carry out a series of visits to try and reduce the frequency with which the vans are parked up in visitor spaces. Here is our latest report from NSL:

The commercial vehicles in All Saints Road are parking in the 2 hour timed bay that we are logging, but they move when we return, any vehicle that is on the Double Yellow Lines just move before we can issue a Penalty Charge Notice.

Since the complaint we have made 32 visits, logged 18 vehicles, and have not issued any Penalty Charge Notices.

We will continue to make visits to this location to ensure vehicles are parked legally.

We shall continue to press for continuing patrols.

We were alerted by residents’ associations to the poor quality of trench filling (re-instatement) by the construction workers and utilities companies. We called in the County officer who liaises with them and he reports:

Regards the utilities works, I visited on the 6th. I did note that there were two sets of works on opposite sides of the road. Was concerned as this was affecting traffic as this left no room for vehicles to wait at the four way junction. Parties were Scottish and Southern Electric and Southern Gas. I phoned Southern Gas and was told their works should have been cleared that day and would chase up for clearance on Saturday. The electric works were on-going. I found it unacceptable that two utilities were there at the same time as road space is limited.

We have called in Building Control to make a site visit to ensure the quality of work is acceptable and heard today that all utility sites are now cleared and defective trenches made good.

Overhanging trees and hedges – how to report them

At yesterday’s Ward Focus Meeting, you asked us who to contact about overhanging vegetation from private property onto footpaths. Here is the procedure, and please do copy us into emails as we want to track how big a problem this is!

The County Council are responsible for taking enforcement action associated with overgrown trees, bushes and general vegetation on the public highway in accordance with the following process:-

  • Contact the County Council via 0845 3101111 or to report the specific location
  • The Local Highway Representative (LHR) in the City, will visit and inspect the location and if he agrees that the overgrown vegetation is causing a problem he will make contact with the resident and deliver a copy of the leaflet Your hedge Your responsibility
  • The LHR will monitor the location to ensure that action has been taken in accordance with the advice issued on the first visit.
  • If action isn’t taken within the required timescale the County Council can undertake the work to rectify the situation and charge the resident/land owner for the costs incurred.
  • If the resident fails to comply the LHR will issue an enforcement notice detailing the specific timescale
  • Osler Road kerb to be repaired

    Another trip hazard. This time it’s in Osler Road

    Kerb damage to Osler Road opposite Cafe Noir


    The City Council will soon be out to repair this section of kerb which is continually damaged by buses and heavy vehicles.

    There will be a site visit later this week to see what more can be done to minimise the frequency of repair visits.