Following Ruth’s email sent to the new Cabinet Member for the Environment, things seem to be moving really quickly on the Access to Headington front.
We have received updates from the County Council which show an imminent closure of the junction between Headley Way and the lower section of Staunton Road/Jack Straws Lane while works are carried out in and around the JR roundabout.
Temporary Traffic Regulation Order – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Temporary Road Closure – at Headington, Staunton Road
In the interests of public safety it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close a section of Staunton Road (at its junction with B4495 Headley Way, whilst essential major road improvements works are carried out
A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 19 June 2017 till the anticipated completion date of 30 October 2017.
(The maximum duration of a TTRO on a road is 18 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.
Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works and liaison with the works supervisor.
A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and the alternative routes for traffic is shown below.
Plan showing temp closure site
Roz and Ruth have requested that a high level repeater can be put in at the pedestrian crossing in the centre waiting section in Old Road. Here is the email we sent to the Access to Headington team for discussion. The County Council officers are currently considering this request.
Residents have drawn councillors’ attention to the fact that groups of schoolchildren cross here when they get off the bus on the southern side of Old Road to reach Cheney School. This means groups of (anecdotally up to 30) students try to use the puffin crossing at the same time.
This also means that when there is a crowd of children immediately next to the red/green man box, and because there is no audible signal it’s not easy for them to see when the green man sign comes on because they are all squashed together.
Please would it be possible to find some money in the A2H budget to put in a repeater at a higher level so that everyone can see it? Roz and I think this would be a great safety improvement so near a school if this is feasible and affordable.
Residents have contacted us because cyclists cannot access the new Access to Headington scheme cycle track in Old Road because there is no drop kerb or ramp.
We have chased this with the County Council and contractors. Skanska will barrier off the area from today and put in a drop kerb before the end of this week, but it appears the work has still to be funded. We are trying to find out why this has happened, and to make sure the process is improved so that this sort of situation doesn’t reoccur.
Residents who live near the current works have been sent the following letter by the project sponsor at the County Council.
The first section of the Access to Headington project, which has seen us working at the junction of Gipsy Lane-Old Road-Roosevelt Drive-Warneford Lane, is on schedule to complete at the end of February 2017.
On Monday 6th February, we will begin a short period of night works whereby we will be surfacing the whole of the junction in parts. This work will be done overnight between the hours of 7pm and 6am when traffic is at its lightest. For diversion routes, please visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/accessheadington
The closures will be as follows:
Monday 6th February – Old Road will be closed in both directions.
Tuesday 7th February – Warneford Lane eastbound, Gipsy Lane (in both directions)
Wednesday 8th February – Warneford Lane westbound and Roosevelt Drive (in both directions) will be closed
Thursday 9th February – Old Road will be closed in both directions
Friday 10th February – Warneford Lane eastbound, Gipsy Lane (in both directions)
Monday 13th February – Warneford Lane westbound and Roosevelt Drive (in both directions) will be closed
The work we are carrying out can be noisy and we do apologise for this. We have a Section 61 agreement in place with Oxford City Council whereby we are only permitted to carry out certain work until 11pm. After 11pm we will only carry on with the less disruptive work in order to cause as little disturbance as possible.
Access to your property
As we will be closing roads, there may be times when access to your property is restricted, however our team on site will be more than happy to assist you getting to and from your property should you need to.
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.
We have been copied into the following message to Highfield Residents’ Association by the University of Oxford. We are very concerned about this proposed change of route which will further inconvenience Highfield residents at what will already be a highly stressful time, and set a precedent for minibuses through residential roads in the area.
Since 18 July 2016 the Science Transit Shuttle has provided a rapid and reliable connection every weekday between the Science Area and Old Road Campus for the University’s researchers, technicians and post-graduates. The ST2 Old Road Campus route was implemented by the University in response to the inadequate public transport connections and to reduce the number of taxi and private car trips between these key sites for research and innovation in the City. Due to the traffic congestion associated with Oxfordshire County Council’s Access to Headington works at the Old Road/Roosevelt Drive junction, the ST2 service has been experiencing serious delays, adversely impacting on the reliability and journey times. Consequently the ST2 service will be diverted from the current route on Old Road/Warneford Lane and instead circulate via Lime Walk / Stapleton Road / London Road from 31st October 2016 until such time as reliable journey times return on Old Road/ Warneford Lane. The private service is using 16 seater minibuses running every 30 minutes between 7am and 7pm. Queries about the service should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have contacted the University expressing our concerns. More to follow.
There will be three opportunities for those who live, work and study in Headington to see the plans for the first set of roadworks and discuss them with the transport planner:
- at the Headington Ward Focus Meeting on Tuesday 27 September from 6:00-7:30 at Headington Prep School Theatre, 26 London Road.
- at the Cheney School Community Centre on Friday 30 September between 4pm and 7.30pm
- at the Cheney School Community Centre on Saturday 1 October between 10am and 1pm
The County Council expects work to begin on the first phase on Monday 17 October 2016 at the Old Road, Roosevelt Drive, Warneford Lane and Gipsy Lane junction. Traffic in this location will be managed under four-way traffic lights and there will be some evening and overnight road closures. Noise disruption will be kept to a minimum after 11pm. It will provide additional information closer to the time.
You can see the plans here at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/accessheadington
We have asked the County Council to update its Access to Headington website to show plans that were displayed at the Old Road Campus today. These show phase 1: works to the Roosevelt Drive Campus which are likely to take place from 17th October 2016 – the end of February 2017.
We have also requested that the County Council updates a special web page devoted to roadworks and road closures in Headington associated with both Access to Headington and the energy pipe works so that people can see at a glance which routes are useable.
We were not notified of the Old Road meeting until a resident brought it to our attention. We have asked when the public will be notified of future exhibitions and it seems that two are being arranged currently:
- Headington Ward Focus meeting at Headington Prep School, 26 London Road on Tuesday 27 September from 6:00-7:30
- another venue possibly around the Cheney School area within the next two weeks, venue to be confirmed
The display boards were for the Roosevelt Drive and Old Road area works only.
We have given details of residents’ groups to Skanska so that communication can be enhanced.
It appears that minor tweaks may still be made following resident comment at these events, and we are hopeful that two parking spaces proposed immediately before the junction of York Road with Margaret Road will be dropped because of on-going safety concerns
Roz, Altaf and Ruth will attend a councillors’ meeting at County Hall on 28th September for a briefing on the Access to Headington scheme.
County Cllr Roz Smith sent in a question about costs to the Cabinet member for Transport. The answer to this question has been published on the County’s website, and is worded as follows.
Councillor Roz Smith
“Access to Headington project – a question about costs
Please could the Cabinet Member give further details on costs relating to the Project:
- expenditure to date on consultants/consultancy work
- approximate costs for the proposed raised pedestrian entry treatments recommended by officers
- approximate financial savings generated from changes to the original proposals made after consultation as per the officer’s report & recommendations
- approximate costs for the changes to the double mini-roundabouts and junctions in Headley Way, and the changes to the mini roundabout junction into the JR Hospital?”
Response by Cabinet Member for Environment
“The information you requested is set out below.
- Expenditure to date on consultants/consultancy work – £517,000
- Approximate costs for the proposed raised pedestrian entry treatments recommended by officers – £6,000 – £8,000 per treatment. Actual cost depends on the amount of drainage work required. Cost also includes traffic management.
- Approximate financial savings generated from changes to the original proposals made after consultation as per the officer’s report & recommendations – no savings have been made by changing theproposals; in fact there is an additional cost for the provision of the retaining wall on the western side of Headley Way which is estimated to cost £246,243. The additional costs will be funded from the existing project budget.
- Approximate costs for the changes to the double mini-roundabouts and junctions in Headley Way -£2.5m (including public realm improvements)
- Approximate costs to changes to the mini roundabout junction into the JR Hospital – £845,000
Costs may change as the detailed design process continues, but these are the latest estimates we have.”
Supplementary question from Councillor Roz Smith
“I note it’s estimated that for every £1 spent there would be a benefit of £3.50 but how would that be monitored and by who.”
Response by Cabinet Member
“Essentially there is a required minimum level of value for money which is part of the agreement for the scheme along with a requirement for before and after monitoring.”