Work on upper Stert culvert begins

January 6, 2016

Abingdon Brewery Tour
As Captainkaos2 predicted work is starting on reinforcing the River Stert culvert that runs under Stert Street. He says “It’s due to last 8 weeks. Only the pavements will be dug up as new, reinforced manholes have already been installed. Looks like we can at last see the back of that dreadful barrier.”
Abingdon Brewery Tour
There are 2 large portacabins in Station Yard and two sections have been fenced off. Work on the lower Stert culvert was completed in 2012, but there has been a delay doing the upper part of the culvert.

There are lots of interesting pictures of the Underground Stert at Abingdon Buildings and People.

Filed under: River Stert

18 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. ppjs  |  January 7, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Let’s hope that there are no further complications once they start digging. It will be good to have th road clear again after five years.

    Happy New Year to all

  • 2. Spike S  |  January 7, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I agree that it would be a long-overdue completion of this highways defect. However, don’t expect much change to the AoT traffic situation. Clearance there will merely transport you a bit quicker to the next bottleneck.

  • 3. Former resident  |  January 7, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    In an ideal world the road would be lifted and the river exposed with a pavement alongside, thus pedestrianizing (sp) Stert St.
    That would of course require a road diversion and another bridge to go from Abingdon to Culham but would help make the town centre a nice destination.

  • 4. Peter Del  |  January 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    About time, but the interesting link you kindly gave, gives a clue as to why the delay – the stream began to be covered 600 years ago, and repaired and rebuilt over the centuries. I suspect repairing it would present quite an engineering challenge.
    The link also mentioned that that there was a jake near St. Nicholas Church, directly over the culvert. I remember visiting the Paris Flea Market in the 70’s and they were still using that system then, although they were enclosed, ugh!!!

  • 5. John S  |  January 7, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks for the update, and for the link to those fascinating old photos!

  • 6. Daniel  |  January 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    What an interesting bit of local history, thank Backstreeter.

    It’s been so long that the barriers have been up…and now (it seems) all of a sudden, there’s progress. (Which is very welcome). Is that just because the wheels of responsibility turn frustratingly slowly, or has the BID team swooped in and got things moving – and therefore a resoundingly successful first result!?

  • 7. Captainkaos2  |  January 7, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Daniel, you naughty boy ! The wheels are slowly turning, but in what way we’ll have to wait a little longer !

  • 8. Geoff Bailey  |  January 8, 2016 at 5:49 am

    This work may not have any effect on the flow of traffic but it will restore the look of Stert Street to look like a country town road and not a section of Silverstone or Brands Hatch.Much overdue and one can only assume finance and investigatory work caused the lengthy delay.Happy New Year to Backstreeter for his excellent work!

  • 9. Blanky  |  January 8, 2016 at 8:24 am

  • 10. Daniel  |  January 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    All wheels in Abingdon have turned slow captain….ever since AbITs!

  • 11. Daniel  |  January 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    …but Goeff, do the silver metal railings opposite look any better?

  • 12. captainkaos2  |  January 8, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Daniel, just got this through from the No Bid team, what do you make of it?

    “We have a list of 310 rateable properties that were included within the bid zone, although these are not all individual properties. For example Abbey House had 2 votes, as the District Council are rate payers for the main part of the building, however the part rented by CAB is a separate rate payer (probably as the CAB can claim charity relief!).
    The councils ( town, County & District) had 27 votes between them, the bid was won with 24 votes, which if you remove the councils votes then the bid would have lost by 3 votes. There were 3 uncounted ballot papers.
    So only 59 businesses actually voted yes, 15 of these made up the proposal team which means only 44 “outside” businesses voted yes. Some of the national firms have a yes policy throughout the country like Natwest bank, but others have a no policy like Fat Face.
    If you walk down Stert Street you will see about 15 yes vote stickers in shop windows, all of these are small businesses, most of which have full rate relief from the Government. Some of these will be paying only £50-£60 per year.
    Most of the people that we have communicated with are the mid sized businesses which will be paying aroung £150+ per year, these are the ones who will feel it as they will not be getting the full rates relief.
    Our question is, how are they going to enforce payment? The DC have said they will collect & administer the money, but will not follow up any non payments. Are the bid going to start legal action against a business as this will probably cost more money that they will recover.
    The Vote NO Team”

  • 13. daniel  |  January 8, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks captain. In answer to your question; the BID doesn’t affect me, as I am not a business, so I have no strong feelings either way.

    However…as an insight in to “how things are done”, I think it is very interesting…but alas I still do not know what to make of it!

    Why do ‘big players’ like Fat Face have a policy of “no”? What do they know/understand/think/feel that is the polar opposite of others [Natwest]? Or, vica-versa?

    I didn’t actually know that there was a “No BID” team – but then, as I said, I’m just a pleb on the sidelines, queuing at Greggs, so why would I? I’m sure I heard somewhere that the “YES” campaign gets government funding to promote their cause; I assume the same funding was equally available to the NO team too? Why didn’t the NO team promote themselves better if they were against it?

    Or perhaps I misunderstood? I often do.

    I guess it doesn’t matter now though.

    To get back to the original question…was it the BID that got the culvert work progressed? Great if it was!

  • 14. Neil Fawcett  |  January 8, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Daniel – I can give you the explanation we have been given on the several occasions Alison Rooke and I have raised the Stert Street issue with County Council officers.

    They have told us that there is a relatively small window when a) the weather is good enough, and, b) they can work without disrupting the bats each year, and that they can’t do the work if water levels are too high.

    At the last meeting we had with them, which was before Christmas, they said that they thought they would be able to do it this year as long as the weather didn’t get too wet. I’m guessing the relatively warm and dry December meant they were OK to proceed.

    We had also got them to agree that if the work wasn’t able to progress this year they would at least look at replacing the current barriers with some nicer ones that looked more in keeping.

  • 15. Daniel  |  January 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you Neil. It is good to be updated, and commendable that you both have got things moving!

  • 16. Daniel  |  January 9, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Former Resident – that us a grand plan, and a good one. Unfortunately ‘vision’ is a poor second to ‘tinkering here and there’.

    Abingdon, I understand the biggest populace in the county after Oxford and Banbury…has to make do with mere tinkering.

    But thankfully…some of our councillors (like Neil) do manage to at least get done what they can.

  • 17. NO Abingdon BID  |  January 10, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Daniel, No13
    The VOTE NO team were very active both before & during the ballot. However, as you point out, the yes team had government funding available, we DID NOT. We made contact with the local media, but the only mention we received was one line in the Oxfordshire Guardian.
    We have posted on this blog, and used Twitter to promote our campaign. We also believe that we visited every premises within the area.
    Fact, all businesses within the bid are will now have to pay each year.
    Question, How do these businesses get their money?
    Answer, you, me & everyone else who shops / uses their services.
    Fact, All 3 councils will now have to pay.
    Fact, Government is cutting the money being given to local councils.
    Question, Where do the councils get there money from
    The County Council are currently consulting on ways to cut services. Recycling centres, Childrens centres & local bus routes are all at risk. Is the Abingdon BID the reason they will have to cut these services?
    Children’s centres offer a lifeline to families & sometimes venerable people, If a child suffers as the result of a centres closure, but the bid team buy a new flower bed will they be able to sleep at night?
    If Drayton recycling centre closes, where will the rubbish go? Flytipping. Will the Bid pay to clear up the mess? Probably not, as you can be sure the rubbish won’t be dumped in the mapped area of the bid.
    The bid team insist that they will increase footfall within the town, but the local estate bus service being lost will surely reduce footfall?
    reduced footfall = shop closure. We have already lost one independent retailer in the town & we quote – ” The bid is the final nail in my coffin “, We know there is another independent business with a break clause in their lease for March, they are considering closure.

    RESIDENTS OF ABINGDON – we need your help – Contact your councillor, ask them why they supported the bid. It was the councils votes which forced this on all of us & you.

  • 18. newcomer  |  January 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    A bit late, but in an Ideal World, Former Resident’s comment (3) would restore some of the magic and charm which the councils, planners and developers have progressively hammered out of Abingdon.

    We could have a Gondola Rank in Stert Street.

    Alas, Neil (14) I guess the County Council has been caught ‘on the hop’ and there’s gonna be more wet weather in the Winter than in the Summer … who’d have thought …

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