Discussions have taken place between OCC and Stagecoach about how to improve accessibility for mobility impaired passengers at the Acre End Street bus stop, which would comply with regulations now required (wherever this is reasonably practical). Following consultation, a solution was presented to OCC Delegated Cabinet on 17 December to build out the pavement by 1.9 metres (car width) for 5.2 metres.
Considerable concern was expressed by consultees, the Parish Council and County Councillor Charles Mathew that the effect of this would be to make an existing bottleneck very narrow and dangerous to negotiate and decrease the road space from some 8 metres to 6 metres- especially for larger vehicles. (Buses are 2.55 metres wide and 10.6 metres long; HGVs are up to 2.6m wide.) Clearly the proposed build out would cause far greater hold-ups to what is already often a challenging but vital through road. Cllr Constance deferred the decision for further discussion.
That further discussion has produced the following options-
Do nothing and claim that it is an impractical measure on this medieval road.
Extend the bus stop build out as discussed but subject to review after a year.
Remove two parking spaces and extend pavement by 0.5metres, to enable buses more pull-in room and passengers greater access. This would not affect the carriageway width but I suggest would not be locally popular although probably the easiest solution.
Divert the S1 route via Spareacre Lane and thence down Mill Street to the centre of Eynsham. This would deny a considerable section of the village (west and south) and the new housing of a close bus stop. It is questionable if that would simply be transferring the traffic problem.
This access project comes back to Delegated Cabinet on 29 April for decision. In order to consult the village residents on this enigma, I am asking you to let me know your preference/ opinions/ alternatives by 10 April either by phone or email as soon as convenient. I can then ensure the proposal considers all options in reaching that decision.
Many thanks and please feel free to contact me with any questions and your conclusions. I would be grateful if you could pass on this opportunity to all residents, as this decision does affect everyone to a greater or lesser degree.