County Councillor's December Report (2018)

REPORT TO PARISH COUNCILS DECEMBER 2018
FROM CLLR LORRAINE LINDSAY-GALE

OXFORD TO CAMBRIDGE EXPRESSWAY – UPDATE
Highways England recently held some local briefings for Councillors who represent areas that
may be impacted by the proposed expressway. I attended the one held in Sandford-on-Thames
on November 29 th . Their objective was to listen, and learn and much as they could about the
local communities here and on the West side of Oxford. The best news for this Division
is that Corridor B1 has been narrowed so that Shillingford, Warborough,
Dorchester, Clifton Hampden, Burcot, Berinsfield, Newington, Drayton St
Leonard and Stadhampton are no longer in the danger zone! While this is a
huge relief for these villages, we still have to consider the impact the
expressway may have on Chiselhampton, Culham, Nuneham Courtenay,
Sandford, the Baldons and Garsington. I will continue to support The
Expressway Action Group in their efforts to persuade Highways England that a far
less costly and more environmentally acceptable route would be to the West of
Oxford.

COUNCIL BUDGET
The council’s initial proposals for the 2019/2020 budget will be reviewed by the Performance
Scrutiny Committee during December. A key element is the plan to invest up to £120m in roads
and schools – a ‘growth dividend’ as more households mean more Council Tax revenue in
future years. Tough decisions in the past have created a route to financial stability at a time
when other councils face financial threats. There are new ‘Transformation’ plans being
developed to completely redesign the council to reduce running costs. Making financial savings
will enable OCC to support the growing number of vulnerable children and adults – more
vulnerable children are coming into council care, both locally and nationally, creating financial
pressures. Protecting children remains OCC’s top priority.

OCC CALLS FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY ON THAMES WATER’S RESERVOIR PLAN
Residents’ interests come first – that was the resolute message from OCC last month as its
cabinet called for a public inquiry on Thames Water’s plans for a new reservoir. The council has
concerns about the size and need for the proposed reservoir to the southwest of Abingdon,
between Steventon, East Hanney and Marcham. It is also concerned about the length of time
Thames Water has set itself to reduce leakages. Further clarity is sought from Thames Water
on whether other potential sites have been fully assessed across the southeast region. Only
when these details are provided in the form of a regional water resource plan for the south east,
will the council be able to decide on whether to back the principle of having a reservoir at this
location.

HOUSING AND GROWTH DEAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMME
The Oxfordshire Growth Board has published details of the infrastructure projects to receive
funding in Year 1 and Years 2-5 of the Oxfordshire Housing & Growth Deal, signed in April
2018. The total £150 million of Growth Deal funding has been earmarked for specific projects.
This forward funding is helping unlock projects that will benefit from developer contributions, delivering schemes valued at over £480 million in total, excluding costs of the major rail
projects, which are still to be confirmed. There is no mention of the proposed new road from
Didcot to the A415 at the Culham Science Centre, the new river crossing and the Clifton
Hampden Bypass. This will depend on the outcome of the SODC Local Plan which will decide
where the large ‘strategic housing sites’ will be located.

Most Locally the Schemes are:

Benson Relief Road

The relief road will provide traffic with an alternative route from the A4074 and B4009 to the
north of the village, particularly for HGVs. There will also be capacity improvements at the
A4074/Church Road junction and improved pedestrian and cycle facilities in and through
Benson. The road will help unlock development sites to the north of the village along the new
route, delivering around 600 new homes, with the Growth Deal forward funding enabling the
work ahead of significant developer contributions.

District: South Oxfordshire
Estimated Growth Deal spend: £1,200,000
Full cost of scheme: £12,000,000

Cowley Branch Line

Growth Deal funding will contribute to a feasibility and design study Network Rail is undertaking
to enable the Cowley Branch through Oxford to be brought forward for passenger services. The
scheme forms part of plans for other rail improvements countywide.

District: Countywide
Estimated Growth Deal spend: £250,000
Full cost of scheme: TBC

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS)

The Growth Deal is contributing £5m of funding to the Environment Agency’s planned Oxford
Flood Alleviation Scheme, to help bring the scheme forward . The scheme should significantly
reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in Oxford City and neighbouring areas in
the Vale of White Horse. It will also protect the public highway and other transport infrastructure
including the Botley Road and Abingdon Road.

District: Countywide
Estimated Growth Deal spend: £5,000,000
Full cost of scheme: £TBC

Oxford Station Redevelopment

Growth Deal funding will support feasibility work on widening the Botley Road railway bridge,
through replacement of the existing structure. This is required to support the Oxford rail station
development, enabling more rail lines to be provided to increase capacity through Oxford.
Widening the road underneath the bridge will improve headroom for vehicles and also provide
more space for cycle lanes and wider pavements, complementing improvements along the
length of Botley Road. The scheme is part of a wider improvement plan for Oxford station which
includes additional track and platform capacity.

District: Countywide
Estimated Growth Deal spend: £500,000

Full cost of scheme: £TBC

Didcot Garden Town Project: Central Didcot Transport Corridor Improvements

A priority “place-making” project involving a mixture of bus, cycle and pedestrian improvements
from the new Science Bridge on the A4130 west of Sir Frank Williams Way to Jubilee Way
Roundabout at Broadway. It is estimated that the project will contribute to the delivery of 391
houses as part of the programme of works.

Districts: South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse
Estimated Growth Deal spend: £2,000,000
Full cost of scheme: £60,000,000

Barns Road

The Barns Road scheme included in the South East Corridors Study is part of the Oxford
Transport Strategy’s Cycle Premium Route network. It aims to support local growth and wider
movement between new housing and employment sites in south Oxford (Cowley, Blackbird
Leys, Littlemore, Oxford Science Park, Oxford Business Park) and connections to Oxford city
centre, east and north Oxford. It envisages new and improved cycle routes along the whole
length of the corridor, as well as improved bus provision. It is a key component of proposals to
support social inclusion, equality of opportunity, protect/enhance the local environment and
health/wellbeing, by improving connectivity and air quality through reducing congestion. It is
estimated that the project will contribute to the delivery of 2081 houses.

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: £1,300,000
Full cost of scheme: £10,300,000

A34 Corridor

This project looks at providing a city-bound bus lane from the proposed P&R at Lodge Hill to
Hinksey Hill Interchange. This forms part of proposals for rapid transit from major housing sites
in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse to Oxford city centre and around the "Eastern
Arc" (Littlemore, Cowley, Headington and North Oxford). Phase 1 of the project (bus priority at
Hinksey Hill Interchange) has already secured funding with design work is now underway.

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: (included in £1,300,000 listed above)
Full cost of scheme £25,100,000

Eastern Bypass Corridor

The project will help move more people around more efficiently along the Eastern Bypass by
providing a bus lane/priority along the corridor. This is required to support growth and wider
movement between key housing and employment across south and east Oxford (Headington,
Cowley, Oxford Business Park, Littlemore, Oxford Science Park) and South Oxfordshire/Vale of
White Horse (South of Genoble Road/Chalgrove, Abingdon etc.). It is expected to reduce
private car traffic and improve the city's air quality.

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: (included in £1,300,000 listed above)
Full cost of scheme: £38,100,000

Cowley Road/Garsington Road/Watlington Road Corridor

The project will help reduce the impact of congestion and expand connectivity along the Cowley
Road/Garsington Road corridor by improving traffic at existing pinch-points/junctions and new
bus priority (improving bus journey times and reliability) and by providing a higher standard and
safer cycle route along the whole length of the corridor. Side road entries and improved
crossings will also assist pedestrian movement and safety. This will support housing growth
along the Cowley Road/Garsington Road corridor and is part of proposals to improve wider
movement between key housing and employment in south Oxford (Cowley, Oxford Business
Park), South Oxfordshire (South of Genoble Road/Chalgrove) and Oxford city centre.

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: (included in £1,300,000 listed above)
Full cost of scheme: £39,700,000

A4074 Corridor

The project will help reduce the impact of congestion along the A4074 corridor by providing a
city-bound bus lane and bus priority at Heyford Hill roundabout, and by providing a new two-way
cycle route. This corridor forms part of the Rapid Transit network to support growth and wider
movement between key housing and employment across south and east Oxford (Littlemore,
Oxford Science Park, Oxford Business Park, Headington) and South Oxfordshire (South of
Genoble Road/Chalgrove) and connections to Oxford city centre.

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: (included in £1,300,000 listed above)
Full cost of scheme: £18,800,000

B4495 Corridor

Starting at its junction with The Slade/Horspath Driftway to its junction with Abingdon Road, the
aim of this project is to help reduce the impact of congestion along the B4495 corridor by
addressing existing pinch-points and by providing a new and improved cycle route. As part of
the Rapid Transit and connector bus network, and Oxford's Cycle Super Route network it is
expected to support growth and ease movement between key housing and employment across
south and east Oxford (Cowley, Oxford Business Park, Headington) and South
Oxfordshire/Vale of WH (South of Genoble Road/Chalgrove, Abingdon).

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: (included in £1,300,000 listed above)
Full cost of scheme: £22,000,000

Abingdon Road Corridor

The project will help reduce the impact of congestion and ease movement along the Abingdon
corridor by providing a new and improved cycle route and improving bus routes to support
housing and jobs growth and promote healthy and active travel. It connects people to major
employment sites in South and East Oxford ((e.g. Headington, Cowley, Oxford Business Park)
and South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: (included in £1,300,000 listed above)
Full cost of scheme £13,700,000

Iffley Road Corridor

This is the A4158 corridor between the Eastern Bypass and The Plain roundabout to reduce the
impact of congestion and move more people around more efficiently along Iffley Road by
improving traffic at current bottlenecks, improving bus journey times/reliability, and by providing
a higher standard and safer cycle route treatment along the whole length of the corridor. Side-
road entry treatments and new/improved crossings will also assist pedestrian movement and
safety. This will support housing growth along Iffley Road and is part of proposals to improve
wider movement between key housing and employment in south Oxford (Littlemore, Oxford
Science Park) and the city centre.

District: Oxford City
Estimated Growth Deal spend: (included in £1,300,000 listed above)
Full cost of scheme £19,700,000

HIGHWAYS DEFECTS UPDATE

As reported last month, the county council has increased the amount of relatively small-scale
work it does to put right local roads that are suffering from potholes, cracks and worn out
tarmac. The number of completed defect repairs between January and October this year
is 37219.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

I would like to thank Parish Councillors for all their hard work over the last year and wish them
together with everyone in my Division a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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