Collaboration and Control: shifting approaches to traffic management

Eynsham TRAFFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE was a striking example of inter-agency collaboration, with members drawn from the county, district and parish councils, Thames Valley Police and Stagecoach.

The TAC was already well-established in 2001 (minute 77.5), while a separate traffic and parking committee operated at parish council level. (Minutes of earlier Council meetings have not been digitised.) Its chairman could be any of the local authority members, as confirmed in 2007. Its status as an ‘outside body’ was still recognised in appointments for 2017-18 (minute 16/564).

The Committee’s wide-ranging remit (‘any traffic related matter of concern either directly or indirectly to the Parish of Eynsham’) was somewhat muddied in June 2018 by the creation of a SUB-COMMITTEEresponsible for the 20mph speed limit scheme in Eynsham and other road sharing issues including parking’. And external representatives on the TAC lost much of their soft power from February 2019, being co-opted as ‘non-members’ only.

The SUB-COMMITTEE’s original terms of reference are no longer available but by August 2019 its membership was also confined to parish councillors. Its final meeting in January 2020 was dominated by parking and road marking issues. Background papers for ‘The 20mph Project’ from 2016-2018 are available on the Parish Council’s new ‘Traffic’ page.

The original Committee’s final meeting in January 2021, somewhat ironically, took over ‘The 20mph Project’. It was officially dissolved in May 2021 (minute 21/82): ‘All traffic issues are to be considered by Full Council’. The new Working Group set up in July 2021 and reporting to EPC has membership confined to parish councillors from the outset.

‘I definitely see parking / congestion and getting about Eynsham by bus, car, foot, bike, scooter, wheelchair as part and parcel of the same 'road sharing' project. For me however, working out how to achieve this change is going to involve a very steep learning curve.’ - Patricia Crowley, May 2018

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‘highway intervention points’, September 2017 - Photographer The Urbanists for Eynsham Parish Council