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York Road improvements

York Road residents showed us the poor pavement surfaces in their road when David, Roz and I held our site inspection there recently.  We have good news to report!  We asked the City Council engineering team to assess the problem for us and they confirmed today that improvement work will be done on the stretch of pavement from nos. 4-34 later on this week.  Together we have made it happen – thanks to all residents for your feedback!

Ticket to ride? Stagecoach bus services

We have a meeting with Martin Sutton of Stagecoach on Wednesday evening and we are hoping to raise a number of issues that have been reported to us by residents in our ward. If you have any specific concerns, please contact us (see left hand toolbar for details)

Issues so far include:

the number 10 service – change of route from Headley Way to Osler Road, whether some services should turn round at Cowley Centre, safety of cyclists and other road users in Osler Road and the lack of space for queuing at the Windmill Road bus stop (the latter is not an easy problem to solve);

the frequency of Brookes buses at weekends and in vacation;

the possible issue of joint-provider scholars’ tickets;

the resurrection of a through service from Headington to Summertown;

a possible switch of designated taxi and bus spaces outside Iceland

and more..

All views welcomed, including positive comments – I know some people have said how pleased they are with the buggy-friendly and disabled-friendly service provided by Stagecoach and we will make sure to mention this!

New Disabled Persons’ Parking Places


The County Council has given notice that it intends to provide additional disabled persons’ parking places and confirms others at the following locations in our ward. If you want to see the proposals in full, please consult them at Bury Knowle Library. The closing date for observations/comments is Friday 10 October, and they need to be sent to Mike Ruse, Traffic Regulation Officer, at Speedwell House, Speedwell Street, Oxford, OX1 1NE tel 01865 815700 email:

Outside no. 13 Gathorne Road

Outside 70 Lime Walk

Outside no. 102 Lime Walk

Outside 8 Norton Close


Old High Street – west side; from a point 2om north of a point opposite the southern kerb line of North Place, northwards for a distance of 6.6m. At the southern end of the residents’ parking bay

Sandfield Road – North-east side; from a point 60m north-west of the north-western kerb line of London Road, northwards for a distance of 6m

At times like this, I wish I possessed a compass!






Ward walkabout with City Officers


This afternoon, I walked round the social housing areas in the ward with officers from Oxford City Homes, City Works and the Area Co-ordinator to identify areas that need maintenance or upgrading. Here is one area we found in Mattocks Close, and we have asked the Works Dept to submit quotes for levelling this pavement to City Homes so that it can be upgraded. If you would like more details of this site inspection, please hit the comment button or contact us for more information.

Below is a picture of North Place, David and I have asked OCH to tell us when the properties will be double glazed, and we have asked them to investigate internal noise reduction too


Outcome of White Hart Application

Some of you might remember the White Hart’s licensing application to be able to use its garden for smokers. There has now been a decision on it, allowing the use but with limits placed on it. Specifically, the conditions are:

  • The garden area shall not be used after 2300 hours except for patrons wanting to smoke in the designated smoking area. Drinks shall not be taken outside the premises by customers using the designated smoking area after 23.00 hours. 
  • The designated smoking area after 23:00hrs shall be used by no more than 10 persons at any one time.

This is certainly a compromise solution. It’s to be hoped that it works for everyone involved, both residents and those using the pub. If any issues do arise, please do drop Ruth or myself a line and, as always, we’ll get onto it.

Oxford Mail exclusive on the London Road lights

Residents may like to see the Oxford Mail coverage of our endeavours to get the crossing lights repaired in London Road, which was featured in our earlier post.

David and I would like to thank the Oxford Mail for helping us resolve this long-running issue, and also say a big thank you to Len and Audrey and Mrs Cox for assisting with our photo-shoot.

How to report crime in South Headington

As those who attended the Area Committee last night will know, the email address for Headington South Neighbourhood Action Group has been withdrawn due to technical problems and David and I have been pressing for details of the new one.

There is now a new email address for this NAG and it is not yet on the NAG website.  The new address is

Don’t be put off by this address, this NAG covers a huge part of our ward too – all roads on the South side of the London Road including Brookside, Latimer Road, Lime Walk, New High Street, Kennett Road, Windmill Road, Stapleton Road, Bickerton Road, York Road, Rock Edge, St Anne’s Road, Old Road and all the interconnecting roads in between.

Do contact this NAG if you are aware of any antisocial behaviour in the area

Success: London Rd lights back on

Here’s a tale of how public concern — and the press — can have a positive effect. Those of you who are attentive readers — or who are residents of the area around the London Road — will know about the problems with the traffic lights near Latimer Road. As previously reported, they have not been working for some time, making it really difficult for elderly residents to get about at all. My hyper-energetic colleague, Ruth, has been dealing with the issue but we’ve been so frustrated with the response that we called the Oxford Mail and arranged a photo-shoot for this morning.

I was up there and met the redoubtable Len of Latimer Grange, as well as Mrs Cox of McMaster House. While we were waiting for the photographer, I noticed the County workmen getting busy and trying to switch on the lights. That failed but I talked to the officer (Mike Best who lives up to his surname: thanks for your work on this one) and he arranged for a contractor to come as soon as possible. In fact, that meant just after the photographer had left. Dave, the contractor, found that the wrong fuse had been put in — a 6 amp rather than a 16 amp — replaced it, and now, at last, the lights are working again.

I do wonder how long it would have taken to get these lights going again if it hadn’t been for Ruth and my contacting the press and their agreeing to run a story. That, plus being able to talk to an officer on site. We will not know for sure but I’d like to think that the fact that local residents were willing to be in the paper helped get this sorted out in the end. The tale is a sad one of buck-passing between a privatised utility and the County Council but, to give them their due, the County officers and contractors on the ground did a sterling job, giving the tale a happy ending: thank you.

Got a gripe about the roads?

Considering the mail-bags both Ruth and I receive, transport issues are high up on the list of the concerns of residents in Headington. This was also borne out by the well-attended meeting on residents’ parking in New Headington last Wednesday, at which a County officer helpfully attended.

But, as that officer said, ‘it’s councillors who make the decisions.’ In which case, we should all be directing our questions, comments and complaints to the relevant County Councillor responsible for our highways. And you can do just that this coming Tuesday, 16th September, when the grandly-titled Cabinet Member for Transport (the Tories like grand titles) comes to St Andrew’s School for the North East Area Committee, which begins at 6pm. We hope to see you there!

Stephen Road — new planning application

Some of you will remember that there is a long history of planning applications for the area around and including 10 and 12 Stephen Road. It seems only a few weeks’ ago that a planning inspector dismissed appeals on two previous applications at this site. Now there is a new application for the same address. It is similar to the previous applications but the developers hope that they have found a way to overcome the concerns of the planning inspector. As there is history on this site, it is only right that this application is heard at a future Area Committee — if, that is, Labour have not abolished the right to have such cases heard locally by then — and I will be interested to hear both sides of the argument at that stage. That’s the point when I’ll make up my own mind. But if you want to form your own view now, do go to the Council’s planning portal and look under the reference number, which is:  08?01961/FUL.