The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Councillor Hudspeth Q & A

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, the County Council cabinet member for transport, was at the Annual Parish meeting last night, and there followed a question and answer session...

First off, the work near the Vineyard / Stratton Way junction will involve the road being CLOSED SOUTH for a couple of days next week.

Also a pedestrian loop will be fitted into the Abbey Close junction, when the contractors have time in their schedule, again to improve traffic flow.

Design work on the High Street still needs to happen. The area round the County Hall is being designed in conjunction with the museum development. The option of a contra-flow cycleway at the top end of East St Helen Street will be investigated.

Improvements to the other part of the High street will go ahead sooner. Yellow hatching can only be placed where people need to turn right, but A KEEP CLEAR at the top of West Saint Helen Street could be added. People also said the current cycle stands could be better.

Moving the Coxeters bus stop to Stratton Way would, in the County's judgement, lead to less room for buses on Stratton Way. The County also believe the pedestrian route into town from Coxeters is preferred by bus passengers. A suggested pedestrian haven half way across from Coxeters would entail a lot of disruptive road work for a limited pay back.

The £521K saved by not proceeding with the Marcham Road dualing scheme has been ring fenced for Abingdon. But the County do not want to fritter it away on small schemes. They would rather it goes towards a strategic study, or something that makes a real difference.

A new bus stop is currently being installed on Marcham Road next to the nursing home. This will allow buses to pick up passengers without blocking the whole lane of traffic behind.

In the summer work was to begin to widen the Marcham Road on the eastbound approach to create an extra inbound lane to feed in to the town's peripheral road (aka Colwell Drive) - encouraging people to use the route as an alternative to the town centre.

There is a horse chestnut tree, at the junction of Marcham Road and Colwell Drive. Its removal would have made rerouting the cycle path easier, but a TPO (Tree Preservation Order) has recently been placed on it by the district council tree officers, and now puts the summer dates in jeopardy.

Somebody had asked about a 2nd river bridge joining to Audlett Drive, and produced a report from the 1970s, which proposed this - when Abingdon was in Berkshire. But was told that Oxfordshire County Road designers are very busy because the Oxfordshire District Councils are all producing Local Framework Plans, as well as the two proposed eco-towns near Bicester. Unless a project comes up through such a strategic route it is less likely to get looked at. In any case to get funding from one of the national, or south England bodies, a bridge would need to be justified by lots of new housing in that area.

Making Lodge Hill a full interchange would probably cost about £5m because of all the traffic management measures it involves. So not cheap. But it is being looked at.


Blogger Annabel Gaskell said...

Re the 'ring-fenced' 521k for Abingdon. What's the point on spending it on yet another study? At least a small scheme would give a good immediate benefit!

21 March 2009 08:43  

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