Here is the latest from County about the Access to Headington scheme.
We have now completed the work between the mini roundabout at Hollow Way and Wood Farm Road and we are looking to complete the current phase of work between Wood Farm Road and Slade Close before Christmas.
We will start the last phase after Christmas between Slade Close and Old Road – this will take approximately four weeks to complete.
Traffic management will remain in place over the Christmas period, though we will remove as much as we can. Daily safety checks will be carried out
Churchill Drive/Roosevelt Drive
We are working in the final phase of this set of works and are on schedule to complete the main construction work before Christmas. There may be some minor work to do after Christmas but this will be minor and will cause little disruption.
The majority of the traffic management will be removed over the Christmas period however Churchill Drive will remain as access only and traffic leaving the Churchill site will continue to be diverted via Roosevelt Drive. The permanent traffic lights on Old Road have been switched on this week.
The team will start setting up begin on Tuesday 16th January, but this should not be disruptive to traffic. Construction work will start on Tuesday 23rd January. Information on programme of work will follow early January.
We are going to be holding a public exhibition on Thursday 14th December at the Heading Prep School between 2:30pm and 6:30pm. This is an opportunity to speak to members of the project team from the County Council, Skanska and the Designers. All aspects of the project remain the same as per the last public exhibition held in the Summer and all drawings can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council website.
Christmas Shut Down
All work will cease on Friday 22nd December for the Christmas period. Work will begin again on Tuesday 2nd January. Traffic management will remain in place during the closure for safety reasons. Regular safety checks will be made.
Here is a letter to residents from the County Council.
Bus stops and crossings in new highways works are always tricky in terms of off-carriageway infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists as they are inherently points where desire line cross.
We asked the County Council about the possible conflict between bus passengers alighting and passing cyclists near the bus stops in the Slade. Here is the response we received:
The areas outside the bus stops and crossings are shared space rather than cycle lane/pedestrian lane so both users share priority. The appropriate signage and markings will be in place in order to remind users of the change in priority.
We have been sent the following text of the temporary traffic order which takes effect from 2nd October. We have requested that Bickerton Road is considered as well as Stapleton Road as an alternative diversion route to Old Road for traffic from Lime Walk with support from the Chair of Highfield Residents’ Association.
This Order is a continuation of the Notice that came into force on the 11 September 2017 to cover the full duration of the works. There are no changes to the restrictions.
In the interests of public safety it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to temporality introduce the following to facilitate carriageway works:
- No access into Old Road from Lime Walk (no access at the junction). Access maintained one-way for vehicles travelling northwards into Lime Walk from Old Road.
- Parking Prohibited for 40 metres from Old Road on the west side (includes approx. 5 spaces of the 8am – 6:30pm 2hour parking bays).
A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is being made to implement the temporary restrictions and will operate from the 2 October 2017 till the 13 January 2018.
(The maximum duration of a TTRO on a road is 18 months and on a footpath is 6 months, or until completion of the works, whichever is the earlier.)
Notice of intention to make the Order will be published in the local press.
Here are the two documents pertaining to this notice.
Here is a copy of the report which is going to the Cabinet Member at a meeting on Thursday. County Cllr Roz Smith will be attending.
Two things stand out from this report:
- The police have opposed the extension of the speed limit
- The money for it is being taken out of the Access to Headington budget
CABINET MEMBER FOR ENVIRONMENT – 7 SEPTEMBER 2017
PROPOSED EXTENSION OF 20MPH SPEED LIMIT B4495 WINDMILL ROAD OXFORD
Report by Director for Infrastructure Delivery Introduction
- This report presents responses received in the course of a statutory consultation to extend a 20mph speed limit on the B4495 Windmill Road, Oxford, southwards to include the full length of the road to its junction with Old Road.
- The request for the extension of the 20mph speed limit on the B4495 Windmill Road southward to include its full length was made in the course of the wider consultations on the Access to Headington. At the Cabinet Member for Environment decisions meeting on 9 June 2016, it was resolved that officers carry out a formal consultation on this proposal. A plan showing the proposed extent of the 20mph speed limit is shown at Annex 1.
- Formal consultation was carried out between 13 July and 11 August 2017. A public notice was placed in the Oxford Times newspaper, and sent to statutory consultees, including Thames Valley Police, the Fire & Rescue Service, Ambulance service, Oxford City Council and the local County Councillor.
- Thirty four responses were received as summarised at Annex 2. Copies of the full responses are available for inspection in the Members’ Resource Centre.
- Responses comprised objections from Thames Valley Police and two members of the public with expressions of support from the local County Councillor, Oxford City Council, the Windmill Road Residents Action Group, Windmill Primary School and Cyclox (a cyclist action and support group within Oxford) and twenty six members of the public, primarily residents of Windmill Road and adjacent roads.
- Thames Valley Police’s objection was on the grounds that while average speeds were within the threshold of 24mph as recommended in the Department of Transport guidance on 20mph speed limits without supporting traffic calming measures, the speed surveys also showed that a significant number of vehicles were travelling appreciably faster than this, and consequently it was unrealistic to expect good levels of compliance with the proposed 20mph limit. This could not only potentially lead to a more general disrespect of speed limits but also result in demands for police enforcement which cannot be accommodated within present resources.
- Objections from members of the public were on the grounds that the proposal was unnecessary and could lead to driver frustration and increased delays, with one respondent suggesting that a shorter extension of the 20mph speed limit to its junction with Margaret Road, south of which the road widens, might be more acceptable.
- Expressions of support primarily cited improved safety for all road users and in particular children, pedestrians and cyclists. However, several of these responses also stated the importance of enforcement of the lower speed limit should it be approved and that without this its benefits would be much reduced.
Response to Objections and Concerns
- The concerns of Thames Valley Police on the likely high levels of abuse of the speed limit are noted and it is accepted that police resources for speed enforcement – including by the use of speed cameras – are already under severe pressure and that it would, therefore, be unrealistic to expect significant enforcement of the proposed 20mph speed limit.
- The objections from the members of the public on the grounds of need are similarly noted. However, the accident record of the part of the road where the reduced limit is being proposed (one serious and seven slight accidents have been reported in the latest 5-year period available, to 31 July 2017) does point to there being valid safety concerns, even when allowing for the fact that the circumstances of some of these incidents were low speed collisions.
- The significant number of responses in support of the proposal – notwithstanding that some of these were qualified by concerns over its benefits in in the likely absence of any appreciable enforcement activity given the severe pressures on police resources – is noted and it would, therefore, appear that the proposal has significant local support, together with that of Cyclox, representing wider cyclist interests in the city.
How the Project supports LTP4 Objectives
- The proposals would help facilitate the safe movement of traffic.
Financial and Staff Implications (including Revenue)
- The costs of the 20mph speed limit would be met from the budget allocated to the Access to Headington project.
14. The Cabinet Member for Environment is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposals as advertised
Here is the letter sent to all residents in the area by the County Council
Re: Access to Headington – Churchill Drive, Old Road and Roosevelt Drive
We wanted to let you know that on 11th September we will begin work on Churchill Drive and it’s junction with Old Road.
The work involves installing traffic lights at the junction as well as re-aligning parts of the footway. We will also be doing small amounts of work at the Roosevelt Drive/Churchill Drive junction. The work is programmed to take 15 weeks to complete.
Over the first 9 weeks of the project we will be working mainly on Old Road under two-way temporary traffic lights. During this time Churchill Drive will be access only from Old Road, however emergency vehicles will also be able to exit onto Old Road from Churchill Drive. All other vehicles will be diverted via Roosevelt Drive.
Lime Walk will also be partially closed over the first 9 weeks. Vehicles will be able to access Lime Walk from Old Road but those wishing to exit onto Old Road will have to do so via Stapleton Road. We will be suspending 5 parking spaces on Lime Walk (spaces closest to Old Road) whilst we carry out the works around the junction.
We will be undertaking 1 weeks’ worth of night works (scheduled for week commencing 23rd October – subject to change) in order to carry out surfacing to the carriageway on Old Road. Night works take place between 8pm and 6am, though very noisy work will cease at 11pm as per our Section 61 agreement with Oxford City Council.
Once the work on Old Road has been complete, we will begin a short period of works to the junction of Roosevelt Drive/Churchill Drive. This involves some re-aligning of the kerbs as well as installation of cables under the road surface.
More information on this set of works and other sections of Access to Headington can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council website at the following address www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/accessheadington. You can also sign up to our regular e-bulletins at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/travelchoices.
The work will be carried out by Skanska Construction. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the project please contact our site project team at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call Oxfordshire County Council’s Customer Services team on 0845 310 1111.
We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause you and thank you for your cooperation.
The County Council issued the following notice in the local press yesterday.
A full set of consultation documents is available on the Oxfordshire County Council website here
Objections to the proposals and other representations, specifying the grounds on which they are made, may be sent in by completing the online questionnaire or by writing (quoting ref: AK/12.6.134) to the officer below by 11 August 2017.
Christian Mauz, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND
The Council will consider objections and representations received in response and they may be disseminated widely for these purposes and made available to the public.
Any unresolved objections will be reported to the Council’s Cabinet meeting later in 2017. The papers for the meeting will be available on the County Council’s website about a week before the meeting.
Here is the press release we have received from construction firm Skanska
The next phase of Access to Headington, which had been due to start on 24 July, has been postponed until the new year.
Following continued discussions and alterations to the traffic management for Thames Water’s urgent sewer works on St Clements the county council has decided the overall disruption for traffic would be unacceptable.
County Councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for Environment, said: “The Thames Water work must be done now as we could otherwise be in a situation where the sewers collapse and an emergency road closure is needed – that would be the worst possible situation.
“We have kept in constant contact with Thames Water and have worked closely with them to reduce the length of time their work will take as well as the impact on traffic.
“The traffic management for Thames Water’s work has been repeatedly discussed and refined and the impacts considered across a wider area. Our team have concluded that traffic re-directed from, or seeking to avoid, the St Clements work will hit the Access to Headington work resulting in congestion and pushing traffic from one set of roadworks to another.
“For that reason we have decided, as our work is more flexible, that we will move the Headley Way/Cherwell Drive phase to the new year.”
The Access to Headington project team will be investigating other phases of the programme that could start this year that will not be as badly affected by redirected traffic from the Thames Water works.
We are hoping this may give us more time to negotiate improvements in the intended scheme with the County Council
A replacement set of lights, that can be manually controlled, are arriving within the hour so by this afternoon’s rush hour, the lights should be back to normal.
It’s not clear why the temporary traffic lights failed last night but there has been some evidence of tampering with them earlier in the week
Following intervention from Headington Lib Dem councillors, the following communication has been received from the University.
After meeting the County and discussion with UNO Bus Ltd we have agreed to maintain the service on the current routing for the time being and not to implement a diversion.
We will continue to review the situation and if it does transpire that congestion causes problems with reliability we will again re-examine. However, a diversion by Lime Walk is clearly in no-one’s interest whilst the Heat Pipe works are in operation.
I will contact you in advance if this situation changes and would be happy to meet in due course
This is a welcome move by the University at a time when many residents are beset by roadworks, parking displacement, and temporary road closures.