I am writing on the eve of the State Funeral. Clearly, the last week has been historic, and focus has been on Balmoral, Edinburgh and Westminster. Many of my County Council colleagues had personal memories of the Queen and of the new King, and were at the forefront of the ceremonies in Oxford.
All public council activity ceased during the mourning period and will resume next week.
There are a number of County Council consultations underway which have now had their final dates extended. These include the latest consultations on the A40 plans following further work on the environmental aspect of the schemes.
Also under review are the County Council’s plans for central Oxfordshire, which covers the city centre and neighbouring places, including Eynsham. Central to these plans are the use of bus gates to prevent through traffic in the city centre. For the avoidance of doubt and to allay fears stoked up by some people, everywhere in the city will still be accessible by motor car.
Considering this, Eynsham residents who opt to drive rather than using public transport or the Park & Rides, or active travel, will need to go into the city via either the A40 or Botley Road or Abingdon Road, depending on where they are headed to.
I think these plans will go a long way towards easing congestion, improving bus times and making it safer and quicker to cycle. The County Council wants to hear from residents and businesses who may be affected.
Stagecoach have introduced new routes. The S2 and S1 from Eynsham to the city and to Witney remain pretty much unchanged, but the routes beyond Witney have been altered; for instance, the S2 now goes on to Cheltenham, replacing the 853.
Unfortunately, English local authorities outside London don’t have the powers to direct or subsidise bus services. We are very fortunate in Eynsham to have an excellent service, and I will continue to try to support the services outside the main routes, (for example, to Stanton Harcourt and Standlake) as far as I can.
A40 cycle track
Those who cycle into Oxford will be aware that the junction for the new Oxford North development just before Wolvercote is appalling for cyclists. It is going to be reworked to make it usable after interventions from myself and from the County Councillor for that area. It ought not to have been designed as it has been, nor should it have been approved – and it certainly shouldn’t have been built as it has been.
The Conduit Lane saga is coming to an end. After a few weeks of it being reopened, it has been shut again. This is because the work is now scheduled to be done imminently and I look forward to us finally having this key path open again.
And finally, it is good to see the new 20mph zone in Eynsham up and running, with the very smart new gates to the village. I would urge people to stick to the new limits. It may feel odd to start with, but we will get used to it and it will make the roads safer.
There are one or two surviving 30mph indicators, such as on the road in from the A40 roundabout. If you spot any more, please let me know or report them on Fix my Street so we can get them removed.
As ever, you can contact me with any issues or questions by email at email@example.com.