Venue: Gallery Room, The Corn Exchange, Witney. View directions
Apologies for Absence
To receive and consider apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Duncan Enright, Michael Brooker and Ruth Smith.
The Chair asked that the Parking Manager at Oxfordshire County Council be invited to join future meetings of the Committee; the position being incorporated into the terms of reference following the transfer of parking enforcement from West Oxfordshire Distroct Council.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting. Any member of the public who so wishes may speak, at this point in the meeting, for a maximum of five minutes on any matter relating to an item on the agenda.
There was no public participation.
To adopt and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2023 (copy enclosed)
That, the minutes of the Witney Traffic Advisory Committee meeting held on 21 March 2023 be approved and signed by the chair.
Matters arising from the Minutes not covered in the Action Plan or subsequent items
There were no matters arising from the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2023.
To receive the report of the County Council’s Infrastructure Locality team.
The Committee received and considered the report from the Oxfordshire County Council Area Infrastructure Locality Team concerning updates on several projects underway in Witney.
Pedestrian crossings over Deer park Road to Windrush Place - costings had been received and S106 funds were available but there was no timescale on the completion.
The Local Cycling & Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) had been approved and implementation of the measures would begin in 2025.
Planning had been granted on the Shores Green Access road; a detailed design would follow later in the year.
Bridge Street Area Options Appraisal Report – this was subject to the West Oxon Local Plan. It reviews the merit of the proposed West End link road, given the adoption of the Oxfordshire Local Transport & Connectivity Plan. There would be wider engagement once it had been assessed and would feed into the forthcoming Witney Area Travel Plan which would also be subject to public consultation.
Burwell Meadow LTN – evidence of this was still being assessed. Concerns were raised from members about the project and its outcomes, the use of the evidence which was taken during school holidays was also questioned.
High Street & Market Square – The County Council was preparing the pre-design stage; areas were being identified for improvement over the summer. invitations to briefings would be sent shortly before engagement takes place. There would be workshops for stakeholders and one long day exhibition at the Corn Exchange.
The Committee expressed sadness, frustration, and disappointment due to the delay for businesses and residents. Apologies were offered that short term measures had not been implemented as quickly as hoped. Costs were awaited and there were internal processes which had to be adhered to. Although not commissioned, building out the pavements was the simplest solution. The main scheme was hoped to be completed by the end of 2024.
West End pedestrian crossing – The Bridge Street Appraisal would cover this area, there was no funding currently identified but the area is in the adopted LCWIP.
Woodford Way Junction revised road layout – A potential scheme would need to be reviewed and further discussion was needed with the Member who raised it.
Burford Road Signal Crossing – There was little positive to say, and the ongoing problems reflected negatively on Councils. It was supposed to be ready in April, and then in May. County Council officers had reported the issues to the utility provider and developer, and they were powerless to intervene.
Parking on Harvest Way – This would be discussed at County Council level as this was a blind corner – further details were required from the Member who raised it.
Also added at this juncture was the current Air Quality Action Plan consultation. A member raised an issue concerning the wording on free parking in the document. The Chair advised this was an error in the document.
1. That, the report be noted and,
2. That, the Chair, County Cllr A Coles contacts the County Council regarding the delay in High ... view the full minutes text for item T36
To receive the report from the Traffic & Road Safety team.
The Committee received and considered the Traffic & Road Safety Report from the County Council Area Operations Officer.
A current list of planned lining works was presented to the Committee along with re-designed plans for traffic calming at The Leys Recreation Ground.
With regard to lining, it was advised that the blacking out of former road markings in Corn Street was wearing off and that only half of Ralegh Crecent road’s surfacing had been completed. A large pothole on Oxford Hill, near to Pensclose was also raised as a danger so Officers would report back to colleagues.
In terms of projects, County Council officers were asked what had happened to planned works/repairs at the Ducklington Lane/Burwell underpass. Members were also presented with a new design of traffic calming measures at The Leys which was met with approval.
1. That, the report be noted and,
2. That, road-surfacing at Corn Street and Ralegh Crescent be reviewed by County Council officers and,
3. That, the pothole in Oxford Hill be addressed by the County Council as soon as possible and,
4. That, the re-design for traffic calming at the Leys Recreation Ground be approved.
To receive the report of the Deputy Town Clerk.
The Committee received the report of the Deputy Town Cleek of Witney Town Council concerning a Community Speedwatch scheme for Witney.
Members agreed the ‘Witney Town’ group already set up on the Community Speedwatch portal should be adopted by the Committee and that the areas which should be included in the scheme were Corn Street, Curbridge Road, Welch Way, Woodstock Road, West End, Tower Hill, Burford Road, Burwell Drive and Witan Way.
Each of the above areas would be monitored in rotation once the scheme was established. There was still work to do in setting up the scheme and then recruiting volunteers, but it was hoped it would be ready to run at the beginning of September.
1. That, the report be noted and,
2. That, the scheme should be registered through the Witney Town Speedwatch Group and
3. That, the areas above are agreed for future monitoring and,
4. That, the equipment required is deferred to the Deputy Town Clerk in consultation with TVP and,
5. That, the terms of reference for this Committee are updated to include the responsibility for this scheme.
Public Transport Update
To receive an update from members present on any public transport matters, if appropriate
The Committee were advised there had been no recent Parish Transport Meeting and the next the next was due on 19 July.
A new group, which provided a voice for passengers through umbrella groups had been established – ‘Oxfordshire for Buses’.
With regard to services, Members were advised that Pulham’s Coaches had been bought out, but there were no expected changes to their routes, the £2 national fare scheme had been extended until October, and West Oxfordshire Community Transport (WOCT) would be starting a new town supermarket service which was hoped would be successful. There was also another service which would serve Kingfisher Meadows and Stagecoach were pleased their revised S1 timetable to Oxford appeared to be working during the Botley road rail works; the S7service however, would need amending.
The representative from WOCT advised they had encountered real issues with the urgent unplanned utility works in Woodstock Road over the previous week. It was a very disappointing situation and was affecting their reputation.
The Committee were also made aware of four new bus shelters which would be delivered at Windrush Place which would include bike racks and were advised of further discussion regarding a bus shelter at Burford Road.
1. That, the verbal updates above be noted and,
2. That, the Chair contacts officers at Oxfordshire County Council regarding an urgent resolution to the works in Woodstock Road.
Items Submitted to the Town Clerk
To receive any traffic or highway related correspondence submitted to the Town Clerk since the last meeting.
The Deputy Town Clerk raised two points in relation to enquiries received by the town council.
Pedestrian Crossing at Welch Way - The Committee had previously asked for trees obstructing the view of the lights to be pruned but the work had been halted. There was a perceived issue with cars approaching the crossing and having their view hindered by the trees and street furniture. It was advised the issued be reported on Fix My Street for further investigation.
Speed Cameras – A question was raised on the effectiveness of speed cameras in Witney following the introduction of lower speed restrictions. The TVP representative advised the age of the cameras did not allow for lower speed limits to be applied and a TVP policy dictated how to deal with these cameras for higher limits. The Chair of the Committee advised he would write to the Superintendent of West Oxfordshire to convey its disappointment with the situation.
1. That, the Welch Way crossing issue be raised on Fix My Street and,
2. That, the Chair contacts Thames Valley Police regarding speed cameras and lower speed restrictions.
Items Raised at the Meeting
To receive and consider any pressing matters from members which may be added to the next meeting agenda for consideration.
Grass – The issue of tall grass at road junctions was raised and it was agreed it was causing problems in some areas. Any issues should be reported to the relevant authority.
Hybrid Meetings – the possibility of hybrid meetings was raised by a Member as it would allow those unable to attend in -person and from further afield participate. The Chair advised the preferred option of meeting following Covid-19 was in-person, but it was worth investigating further. It may be possible at the District of fire station meeting rooms, but this could incur a cost and those in attendance not being able to operate the technology.
Parking on Pavements – An issue at the bottom of Burford Road was raised as a continuing problem in the narrow bottleneck.
Parking Permits – A member raised that residents in Corn Street were not able to apply for a permit. It was advised businesses also operate in the area so permits would be detrimental. The County Council officer present advised she would find a report on this issue which took place in approximately 2019/20.
1. That, areas where tall grass is posing a health and safety risk be reported on Fix My Street and,
2. Witney Town Council as administrators of the Committee explore hybrid meeting options ahead of September.
3. That, the Chair visits Burford road to view the parking and ascertain the seriousness of the problem and,
4. That, OCC provide a report on parking permits in the Corn Street area.
Date of the Next meeting(s)
To receive the date of the next meeting of Witney Traffic Advisory Committee for information.
Members were advised that the next scheduled meeting of this committee would be on Tuesday 26 September 2023. Following the earlier discussion, the venue would be confirmed in due course.
That, the date of the next meeting be noted.