Highways 2020

Strategic Review of Parish Highways and Travel

The Parish Council is delighted to release the report which will used as the basis for seeking improvements to congestion, speeding and safety issues in the parish.

Richard Bahu, Chair, Highways & Amenities sub-Committee, St Helen Without Parish Council

Air Quality Monitoring in Shippon

VWHDC have agreed to monitor the air quality in Shippon. Tim Williams, VWHDC Environmental Health Officer, has told us:

“Air quality away from heavily trafficked roads is generally very good throughout the district, however I am aware that Barrow Road and Faringdon Road can be busy at times and Barrow Road can suffer with congestion at the junction with Faringdon Road particularly during the morning peaks. In addition as there is development planned for the area and it would be useful to gather some baseline air quality data of the existing air quality. 
We use diffusion tubes to monitor levels of nitrogen dioxide a pollutant associated with traffic and combustion processes. I plan to locate one tube on a telegraph pole on Faringdon Road by the bus stop opposite the junction with Barrow Road and another tube on a telegraph pole on Barrow Road east of the junction with Elm Tree Walk.
I am also considering a background location away from traffic and I am considering Whitehouse Close. I intend to choose a suitable location for background monitoring when I go out to expose the diffusion tubes in early February 2021.
The tubes are exposed for a month then changed over and the exposed tubes are sent for analysis and results tend to take about a month to filter through. I would not expect to have any results until April. The parameter we assess against is the annual mean (Jan-Dec) and I would not be able to calculate this until about February next year (2022) when I have had receipt of the monitoring results from the December 2021 exposure.”

Highways issues

If you have an issue with a highway such as a pothole or broken street light you can report it here:

https://fixmystreet.oxfordshire.gov.uk/

You can also email them using the following address: highways.enquires@oxfordshire.gov.uk or by telephone 08453 101111.

Footpaths, Bridleways, Byways

Please log any issues with Public Rights of Way (footpaths, bridleways, restricted byway, or byway) using the OCC online Countryside Access map. https://publicrightsofway.oxfordshire.gov.uk/Web/standardmap.aspx. You’ll need to register for an account.

If the issue isn’t one for OCC, they will be able to point you in the right direction.

If you have an issue with an overgrown footpath please contact the Parish Clerk. Contact Us or Provide Feedback to St Helen Without Parish Council 2020

Grass Verges

Oxfordshire County Council are responsible for grass verges. The following link sets out their responsibilities https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/roads-and-transport/street-maintenance-z/verges. Note. The cost of installation of posts on verges in front of houses must be covered by the householder.

Roadworks and Closures

Details can be found at https://one.network/custom/oxfordshire/

Transition of Highway Services

As is well known Oxfordshire County Council is under considerable funding pressure and has indicated that its spending priority is on social care and protecting the vulnerable. This means that the other services provided by the County Council are likely to suffer.

Of particular interest to parishes is the impact on highway services. The policy adopted by the County Council to address this is to make a proposal to town and parish councils under the esoteric title “Transition of Highway Services”. This envisages that a parish council will take over responsibility for providing services such as grass cutting under a three year legal agreement in return for a grant.

The agreement expects a parish council to take over Oxfordshire Highways’ statutory responsibility for cutting visibility splays to ensure road safety at road junctions; this would leave the parish council vulnerable to being sued in the event of an accident even if it were due to the negligence of the contractor. Furthermore, the level of the grant is only guaranteed for the first year of the contract.

The Parish Council has entered into a contract with Aspire for grass cutting. Please contact the Parish Clerk if you wish to report any issues. Contact Us or Provide Feedback to St Helen Without Parish Council 2020

A34 Lodge Hill Junction Improvements – Online Public Exhibition

Oxfordshire County Council is holding an online public exhibition about proposals to improve the A34 Lodge Hill interchange north of Abingdon from 8 to 29 March. https://a34lodgehill.exhibition.app/

Two live Q&A sessions are planned for people who are interested in learning more about the improvements and to give people a chance to talk to the project team directly. These sessions will be held on Monday 15 March (2pm to 3.30pm) and 18 March (7pm to 8.30pm).

Highways England exploring opportunities to improve the A34

Highways England has started work on a new project to improve the A34 north and south of Oxford. The project is exploring opportunities to improve journey times, reduce congestion and improve safety on the A34 between the M4 and M40.  The work is at an early stage. The current focus is understanding how the A34 and the local roads interact so that Highways England can start to explore potential improvements that will make a real difference to people’s lives. 

More information about  the project is on Highways England website. That includes the process Highways England follows to develop projects. You can sign-up for web updates.  

Oxford Cambridge Expressway

The proposal for a major road to link Oxford and Cambridge could have implications for our Parish. See Highways England for details:

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway/

The Parish Council has expressed concerns about the possibility of the route running through part of the Parish. There is a campaign group against the expressway:

https://www.noexpressway.org/