Highways 2020

Strategic Review of Parish Highways and Travel

The Parish Council has received a number of communications, particularly from Shippon residents, over the past few weeks with concerns over issues relating to congestion, traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and speeding. At the last Parish Council meeting on 14 September 2020 we agreed to undertake a comprehensive strategic review of all these issues and consider options. As Chair of the Highways & Amenities sub-committee I am tasked with taking this forward. We will be supported by our District and County Councillors. We will engage with all stakeholders including our residents, local schools, barracks, etc. I expect it will take several months. Clearly we are operating in a Covid secure environment which adds a burden to all activities. However we are conscious that our area will grow significantly in coming years and these issues are likely to get worse.

Our review will also consider the potential implications on these issues of future developments in the area, such as the three planning applications at the eastern end of Barrow Rd and the proposed major development on the airfield.

We have begun this review and are asking residents across the Parish for their concerns and any ideas on how to tackle these issues.

If you wish to express your views and contribute to the review please respond by 14 November to the Parish Clerk at clerkshwpc@gmail.com.

Richard Bahu

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

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

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. Wootton Parish Council is still considering its response. However, there are potential shortcomings in such an arrangement. T

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

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/