Venue: Gallery Room, The Corn Exchange, Witney. View directions
Contact: Committee Clerk
Apologies for Absence
To receive and consider apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Ted Fenton and A Lyon from West Oxfordshire Community Transport.
An apology for absence was also received from R Steere from the Witney Chamber of Commerce; A Bullock acted as substitute and confirmed he would be the organisation’s representative at future meetings.
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.
The Committee received representations from three residents followed by questions from Members.
D Bold spoke in relation to a study which had taken place in Harvest Way Witney and which had led to proposed safety changes referred to in agenda item 4.11
J Fisher spoke in relation to agenda item 8(a) regarding an extension to the H2 Hospital Bus Services.
A Slade spoke regarding cycling on pavements, particularly in Witan Way.
As the final item was not on the agenda, the Chair agreed to discuss amongst Members at this juncture. There was agreement cycling on pavements was an issue, not just here but across the town but there were limited resources for enforcement. A segregated cycle way was proposed at Witan Way in the County Council’s Local Cycling, Walking & Infrastructure Plan but they as yet this was unfunded.
The Committee received and considered the minutes of the Traffic Advisory Committee meeting held on 26 September 2023.
That, the minutes of the Witney Traffic Advisory Committee meeting held on 26 September 2023 be approved and signed by the chair
There were no matters arising from the minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2023.
Witney Festival of Food & Drink
At the request of the Chair, this item was raised for inclusion and moved this up the agenda for discussion.
The Market Towns Officer from West Oxfordshire District Council presented the item regarding a Food Festival which would run in Witney High Street from 12-14 April 2024; it was not a District Council event and was being run by an external company. The District Council was helping them facilitate as the event, in the centre of Witney, would hopefully help businesses with footfall in the town.
Although generally supportive, there were concerns from the Stagecoach representative about the event resulting in the displacement of passengers and impact of services in the centre of the town for a prolonged period.
There were further questions from Members about the event who were advised the organiser would be employing an accredited traffic management company to ensure compliance with all necessary actions and consultations.
That, the verbal update be noted.
E Philips from West Oxfordshire District Council left the meeting at 3.02pm
To hear a resident request to extend the H2 Bus Service to additional Oxford Hospitals.
The Committee received a document provided by the member of public in attendance which outlined the potential of the H2 bus route being extended to further Oxford hospitals.
There was discussion on the commercial viability of a stand-alone bus service and confirmation the current service was tendered by Oxfordshire County Council. Any decision to extend the service would need to be made to them and would be dependent on costs and funding.
Members were generally supportive of the suggestions and agreed the Committee should write to the County Council to ask if the request could be considered.
That, the Committee writes to Oxfordshire County Council to request they scope and consider extending the H2 bus service.
To receive and consider the report of the Oxfordshire County Council Planning Team which includes a Traffic & Road Safety Report and an update from the District Council regarding the UKSPF funded signage and wayfinding project.
Members began by discussing the item in the report relating to Harvest Way so the member of the public could hear the outcome.
Cllr R Smith joined the meeting during this item at 3.10pm
County Council officers advised this had been discussed at a previous meeting and three options were possible to help alleviate the road safety issues encountered by residents.
Members were advised there were funds in the new financial year to add keep clear white lines at the dropped kerb points to keep the crossing free of traffic, but the road safety budget was already oversubscribed and would not stretch any further. It was agreed this was a good start and may alleviate the issue; in the meantime, a zebra crossing would be scoped and added to the County Council’s Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) aspirations for the area.
Also in the report, the Committee was advised the A40 Shores Green road had entered the detailed design stage but objections to the Compulsory Purchase Order had led to a Public Inquiry which would delay the scheme, much to the disappointment of Members.
Other updates were provided on the Burford Road Signal Crossing, Witney bus stop improvements, bus service changes, planned lining works, Ley’s traffic calming, a District Council UKSPF funded signage/wayfinding project, and the Bridge Street Area Appraisal. The latter was an important piece of work regarding Bridge Street/West End Link Road options which would require stakeholder and public engagement later in the year.
Cllr D Enright joined the meeting during this item at 3.36pm
Finally, there was discussion on High Street temporary and long-term changes. There was agreement the temporary buildouts had taken too long to install but officers were looking to meet the timescales of the long-term works which were due to be completed in Spring 2025. Further work on the scheme may be delayed slightly this year due to elections in May. There had been no decision on the implementation of ANPR at the entrances to the project area.
1. That, the County Council report updates be noted and,
2. That, Cllr R Smith advised Madley Park residents that white lines will be added to the road and the issue would be added to the LCWIP.
5 Ways Roundabout Improvements
To receive a request from Cllrs A Coles & R Smith for an expediated approach to improvements at this junction, as outlined in the County Council’s Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan.
At the request of the Chair, this item was moved up the agenda so County Council officers could advise Members.
The Chair asked County Council officers if plans to upgrade this roundabout, as outlined in the LCWIP, could be expediated following further accidents here in recent months.
In response, it was advised that short-term improvements were being considered by the County Council, but it wouldn’t be the full LCWIP proposal as there were not sufficient funds at this time for the ‘Dutch-style’ project.
That, the update be noted.
To receive details of the above Oxfordshire County Council open consultation and consider a Committee response, if appropriate.
Further technical documents and details can be found by clicking the web link here https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/lane-rental-scheme-consultation
The Committee received notice of Oxfordshire County Council’s open consultation on a Lane Rental Scheme which would invoke charges for utility companies on the County’s busiest roads.
Members were pleased to see this issue being considered and could see potential benefits and problems with the scheme. It was felt there would be no overall consensus by the Committee which would enable a response, so Members were advised to share consultation details with their organisations, and to enter a response if appropriate.
That, groups/organisations make individual responses to the County Council’s Lane Rental Scheme Consultation.
To receive a verbal update on the Community Speedwatch scheme from the Chair and officers.
The Committee received a verbal update from the Chair and Officers regarding the Community Speedwatch Scheme administered by the Committee.
The first session of the group had taken place earlier in the day at Curbridge Road, Witney. It had been a learning curve with 4 volunteers and a member of the Eynsham group who had provided advice during the session. 200 vehicles had been monitored; one offender was travelling at 48mph but approximately 75% were driving safely. One local resident had approached the group to thank them in keeping the community safe.
There were four sites entered for the scheme and areas to consider. Roads with schools were the primary sites, but more could be done with extra volunteers. Two further dates were pencilled for February and March.
That, the verbal update on the Community Speedwatch scheme was noted.
Public Transport Update
To receive an update from members present on any public transport matters, if appropriate.
The Committee received verbal updates from the Independent Transport Representative and the Member from Stagecoach.
West Oxfordshire Community Transport had procured a new bus from community transport grant funding and the Oxford Tube was working well and being well-used. Botley Road would be re-opening in October but utility works were then planned. Stagecoach was also looking at the possibility of making the S2 service an express.
That, the update be noted.
Downs Road, Witney - Speeding Issue
To receive a request from Cllr T Ashby for an appraisal on options to combat speeding in Downs Road, Witney.
Cllr Ashby asked if options could be provided to reduce speeding in Downs Road.
There was discussion on data which verifies the issue but acknowledgement the housing developments of Windrush Place and Colwell Green were adjacent to the road, as was the farm which may be developed in the future.
County Council Officers agreed to look through their data from 2023 ahead of the next meeting. Accident data for all areas in Witney would be beneficial as the Chair had also been passed correspondence from Mill Street about speeding there. Without evidence it was difficult to pinpoint areas of concern and where Speedwatch might be deployed; Mill Street would not be appropriate due to the narrow nature of the pavements.
1. That, the report be noted and,
2. That, the Chair liaises with the resident of Mill Street to explore the issues at the location and,
3. That, accident data for the whole of Witney (including Downs Road) is provided for the next TAC meeting.
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.
M Wasley from Oxfordshire County Council advised this would be his last meeting as he was leaving his position in March.
The Chair, along with other Members of the Committee thanked Mr Wasley for all his work and support to this particular Committee over many years and advised he would be sorely missed.
The Deputy Town Clerk advised the town council had been notified of a Notice of parking order at the Woolgate Car Park; it would result in a further long-stay car parking area in the car park which would help workers within the town.
A Bullock of Witney Chamber of Commerce advised R Steere had sent apologies to the meeting.
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 March 2024.