Proposed Crossing in Bridge St

July 17th, 2014 by Sustainable Witney Leave a reply »

Oxfordshire County Council Consultation: Bridge Street, Witney – Proposed Zebra Crossing

In 2003 three crossings were identified and proposed along Bridge Street in the ‘Witney Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy’, none of which were ever realised, although a pelican crossing in the centre of Bridge Street was consulted on and rejected: possibly because of local objections to the removal of the small amount of available parking there; possibly because of fear of stop-start traffic movements adversely affecting air quality (Bridge Street is one of West Oxon’s two Air Quality Management Areas, the other is in Chipping Norton).

In 2010 the Living Streets Group met to put together a practical proposal to make Bridge Street and the junctions at either end more pedestrian friendly which consisted of zebra crossings at the North end…

BridgeStreetNorthProposed

…and at the South end…

BridgeStreetSouthProposed

Through the West Oxon Sustainable Transport Forum the group were made aware of the Complementary Traffic Measures Study which proposed a number of changes to make the centre of Witney more walkable and bike-able as part of the Cogges Link Road plans and which referred back to the consultation for the pelican crossing:

6.2.12
The consultation suggested three potential crossing locations to several businesses and residents living in the vicinity of Bridge Street. There was strong opposition from local residents to a pedestrian crossing on Bridge Street, with increased vehicle emissions, disruptions to traffic flow and a perceived increase in noise being cited. Recommendations offered by residents included a zebra crossing at either end of Bridge Street, on approach to the junctions with Mill Street and Newland. The report recommended further public consultation and advised new proposals to implement a pedestrian crossing on Bridge Street that would gain local support.

Well, we all know what happened to the CLR, but the Complementary Traffic Measures are just as relevant with the Shores Green Slip Roads and this latest zebra crossing proposal seems to be taken from its recommendations:

Pedestrian Facilities – Bridge Street Recommendations
24. Provide a pedestrian crossing within the existing desire line.
25. Retain parking spaces.

Now, eleven years after the Witney Integrated Transport Strategy, this is the position of the 2014 proposed zebra crossing:

BridgeStreetCrossing2014

It’s not clear how the desire line has been arrived at. Perhaps it’s the point where those people that do cross feel it’s become safe enough to do so when heading into town, or when coming from the Aquarius development in the bottom left of the picture. Given the length of time it’s taken to get another proposal for a crossing on the table it would be ridiculous to oppose it, but it doesn’t resolve the problems at either end of the street for people whose desire lines run elsewhere.

So we say yes to this crossing, but yes to more crossings at the junctions.

In the meantime, problems for people in West End and beyond using the S1 and S2 services could be eased by not forcing them to walk all the way up the hill on Newland to/from the Oxford bound Staple Hall stop.

It’s probably not common knowledge but the National Transport Data Repository gives locations for two bus stops in Bridge Street. If the Oxford bound stop were implemented now, before OCC have finally delivered viable alternatives for the 30,000 vehicles travelling through Bridge Street daily, many people could be saved an unnecessarily long walk. So how about activating one of the bus stops in Bridge Street too?

Don’t forget to respond by 25th July to the Oxfordshire County Council Consultation: Bridge Street, Witney – Proposed Zebra Crossing

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