Archive for the ‘OCC’ category

A40 Corridor Consultation

November 6th, 2015

SWLeafLogoNewThe bottom line? More information required.

Sustainable Witney is worried about the quality of decision making on such an important topic and is requesting more information to come to an informed decision.

You may wish to do the same. You have until Sunday 8th November to respond to the consultation.

Sustainable Witney’s response in full:

FAO: Oxfordshire County Council

 

Response to Investing in the A40 Consultation 6 Nov 2015

 

Sustainable Witney strongly supports further investigation into the train and tram options for relieving congestion along the A40 Corridor.

 

Oxfordshire County Council has raised some interesting options for discussion, but has not provided enough information to make an informed decision on what will be the best longterm solution. No figures are given for the potential of each option to move people from their origins to their destinations in the future. Also, the consultation might be more accurately titled “Investing in the A40 Corridor” rather than just the A-road itself.

 

Sustainable Witney is concerned that OCC commissioned an engineering feasibility study into a dual carriageway between Witney and Oxford without properly investigating the potential of the other options too. This gives the impression that OCC has already decided what the longterm solution will be.

 

Sustainable Witney is dismayed that West Oxfordshire District Council has decided to support the dual carriageway as the longterm solution while stating that it does not support the train or tram options at all. There simply is not enough information at this stage to form such a conclusion. Again, it gives the impression that the longterm solution has already been chosen.

 

OCC and WODC recently backed a road solution in Witney which has cost the county and the district dearly in terms of legal costs, lost funding, lost officer time, and a depressing delay in resolving congestion within the town. We desperately need better, rigorous, evidence based decision making in the future.

 

The West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 gives anticipated housing delivery in the Witney and Carterton areas as 3,685 and 2,571 respectively.

 

  • What effect will that have on congestion in the towns themselves?
  • What effect would a dual carriageway east of Witney have on travel behaviour within those areas?
  • What effect could a light rail system have on travel behaviour within the towns and to Oxford and beyond?
  • What are the public health implications (something the district council is now responsible for) of locking the communities along the A40 corridor into a future of road based travel?

We are grateful to OCC for opening this conversation, now please let us have a thorough discussion.

 

Brigitte Hickman
Chair, Sustainable Witney

Are Home to School transport proposals unsustainable? what you can do

January 6th, 2014

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) is consulting on new Home to School Transport Proposals that aim to remove many school bus routes. OCC plans to drop support, presuming that bus routes will be replaced with less efficient, more congesting private motorized transport.

This could lead to increased congestion and emissions across the county, as many more car miles are generated on the school run every day. Campaigners at the Oxon School Bus Action Group have also identified some of the more damaging aspects of these proposals. Environmental impacts through increased emissions and congestion are not even mentioned in the Draft Service and Community Impact Assessment that OCC have provided for these proposals, but it’s clear there’s likely to be serious environmental impacts from these proposals.

The real irony is that OCC is a member of the Oxfordshire Environment Partnership, which has committed to a 3% year-on-year reduction in carbon emissions. But local academic Professor Angus Wilkinson suggests that:

… [A simple estimate suggests that these Home to School Transport proposals could at a stroke lead to a 2.5–5.6% increase in emissions, compared to OCC’s total net emission in the 2010/11 base year.

If this is true, then at a stroke, the county council are proposing to ruin their own commitments to a sustainable future.

So what can you do? Here’s a few things:

At a time when the county is once again facing ruinous floods, an indirect result of climate change; and when many Oxfordshire towns are already congested or even ruined by excess private transport: these proposals seem to be the exact opposite of anything that the council should be suggesting. So whatever you can do to help out will be appreciated!

Ducklington Lane Consultation

July 10th, 2013

DucklingtonLaneJnctn

The consultation on the changes to the Ducklington Lane, Station Lane, Thorney Leys junction opened today. Links to the consultation and the documents can be found here.

Better provision is made for walking and cycling but it still falls short of providing bike access to Thorney Leys Business Park and the Station Lane Estate. These and other issues with the design can be discussed with the county council in the Methodist Church on the High Street at the following times:

  • Friday 12 July – 3pm to 7pm
  • Saturday 13 July – 10am to 5pm

Let us have your comments too.

 

Ducklington Lane Proposals, Methodist Church

July 10th, 2013

Have your say on Ducklington Lane transport proposals

People are being asked for their views on proposals to tackle congestion along the ‘Duckington Lane Corridor’.

The proposed improvements will be on display at the Wesley Room, The Methodist Church, High Street, in Witney on:

  • Friday 12 July – 3pm to 7pm
  • Saturday 13 July – 10am to 5pm

County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for transport, said: “The proposals are part of a wider vision for Witney which were approved by the county council’s Cabinet in March this year. I would urge anyone with an interest in the future of transport in their area to get along to one of the exhibitions or take a look online.”

It is hoped to tackle existing and future congestion problems, and to enhance pedestrian and cycle access, by:

  • Providing safer pedestrian crossing facilities on Ducklington Lane north and Station Lane;
  • Reducing congestion and delay by increasing the number of lanes at the junction approaches and through the corridor;
  • Improving wider traffic movements, including access to and from the A40, by optimising signal timings and road markings, making more efficient use of road space

Alternatively, you can see the plans 9am – 5pm from Monday 15 July until Friday 9 August 2013 at:

  • West Oxfordshire District Council Offices, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney OX28 1PB
  • Witney Town Council, The Town Hall, Market Square, Witney, Oxon,OX28 6AG

SW meeting, last Wednesday

May 26th, 2012

We had a meeting at the Fleece last Wednesday. There was a lot to discuss:

  • Refashion: Saturday 3 November is the date that Refashion comes to Witney! This will be all about clothes upcycling, and includes workshops and a “swishing” event.

    We agreed a few new actions, including getting in touch with local charity shops and independents for clothes seconds; because the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (including OCC and WODC) are directing a lot of the event, it takes most of the strain of organizing off us!

  • Car club: Kevin has been doing sterling work getting together funding, in order to take advantage of the suggestion from a not-for-profit that they might trial a Witney car club. However, the organization has recently said that they’ll only help out in a franchise arrangement – so we would have to set up a company, employ a fleet manager for the cars etc. – and we don’t have the time available to do that.

    However, the work hasn’t all been in vain: we’ll be putting everything together, along with documentation of the foibles we’ve worked out, in case the right people make themselves known to run such a company; and we’ve also made contact with commercial providers. So there are still possibilities in the future and we’ll keep pursuing them.

  • Carbon conversations: these are intentionally small workshops – around half a dozen attendees – where people can share knowledge and skills to reduce their own carbon footprints. The idea is also that perhaps one in ten of these attendees go on to run their own workshop elsewhere.

    The first series, starting in late June, are already booked up; we’ve also got 3 or 4 people for the second round of workshops. If you’re interested in getting involved, then get in touch.

We also discussed possible awards applications for Sustainable Witney, and events for Bike Week in just under a month’s time. The Bike Week schedule should appear on this site soon!

The next SW meeting will probably be in a couple of months – register as a subscriber if you want to receive alerts!

Tell Oxfordshire County Council about your local bus routes

April 11th, 2012

Oxfordshire County Council are running a consultation about bus routes in the Chipping Norton, Charlbury and Witney area. You should respond if you possibly can, and if you do it online it will only take a few minutes (see below for details.) It’s important that your voice is heard, because even when councils aren’t trying to save money as they are at the moment, then “consultation” can often mean “doing the groundwork for an argument to cut services.”

The services affected include: 23A, 50, 50/S3, 233, 243, 811, C1/T1, X8, and X9. Towns and villages affected by any changes to these services would include: Chipping Norton, Steeple Aston, Shipston-on-Stour, Woodstock, Enstone, Yarnton, Burford, Milton-, Ascott- and Shipton-under-Wychwood, Crawley, Finstock, Ramsden, Stonesfield, Kingham, Hailey and of course Witney. So a lot of you reading this will probably want to respond! (A full list of services and villages under review is available here.)

According to the council website, there are a few ways of responding to the consultation:

If you want to complete the online version of the questionnaire, you do have to register for an account on the county council website: registering is never fun, but I did so myself and it was pretty straightforward; got an confirmation email within a minute or two. Depending on the amount of detail you want to leave, the online questionnaire takes between one and maybe ten minutes.

There’s plenty of time to complete the survey – it closes on June 8th – but it would be great if lots of people did so, so please tell your friends. Filling out forms and telling councils what use you make of local services (and how they could be better) can be a chore at times; but if it gets us an improved bus service, or even simply preserves the services we currently have, then such a chore might be worth while.