Agenda item

Bridge Street, Witney - Proposed Zebra Crossing

Forward Plan Ref: 2014/094

Contact: Jim Daughton, Service Manager – Delivery Tel: (01865) 815083


Report by Deputy Director for Environment & Economy – Commercial & Delivery (CMDE6).






The Cabinet Member for Environment considered (CMDE6) responses received to a consultation for a proposed zebra crossing on Bridge Street, Witney and acknowledged receipt of additional emails from:


County Councillor Richard Langridge (Witney North & East) who had expressed a strong objection to the proposal on the grounds of disruption to traffic movement, increased congestion and worsening air pollution which was already at dangerous levels.  West Oxfordshire District Council and the Witney Traffic Advisory Committee had both objected and he suggested the high levels of support for the crossing had not come from people who actually lived in the immediate area.  Local residents had repeatedly voiced their opposition to the proposal and in the face of such local opposition it should not proceed.


Hannah Watson (local resident) had set out her concerns regarding the dangers of trying to cross Bridge Street. That was likely to worsen with new housing development.  The issue with shop deliveries applied to one business which had huge trucks delivering which needed to park on the pavement making the situation even more dangerous.  She considered that people’s safety came before concerns regarding noise and pollution which already existed.


Duncan Wood speaking as a Trustee of a Health Club off Bridge Street confirmed that many members had commented on the difficulties of crossing Bridge Street.  There was also a dance school on the old trading estate site and comments had also been made on the dangers for children crossing.  Consequently many visitors took the choice to drive which added to the high traffic levels.  Bridge Street was by and large residential with lots of new houses and one shop and support for a crossing was overwhelming with objections based on grounds of congestion and air quality although it seemed to him that a pedestrian crossing might for the reasons above encourage more people to walk to local facilities thereby help to reduce traffic.


Mr Tole confirmed that there would be some loss of parking but some parking would remain.  He undertook to investigate whether the length of zig-zags could be shortened.  He did not accept comments that the Witney Traffic Advisory Committee had objected to the scheme. Similarly comments from WODC as referred to in paragraph 10 indicated support for new and improved pedestrian facilities although they qualified that support by referring to traffic levels in this particular area.  With regard to those concerns traffic flow would depend on numbers using the crossing and as queuing was by and large at peak time it was expected that the effect on air quality would be minimal.


Addressing comments received regarding timing of this scheme in relation to other major projects in Witney such as Shores Green and the West End Link Odele Payne advised that as neither scheme had been confirmed delivery was therefore open ended. As a result the 30,000 vehicle daily flow on Bridge Street would remain suggesting a strong case for a scheme to come forward now rather than wait for major schemes to come forward.  Funding for this scheme was available until 2017 and as no decision on other major infrastructure would be taken before then any delay beyond then would mean the finance would be lost.  Also there was no guarantee that other major schemes would significantly reduce flows.


The Cabinet Member had visited the site and seen the difficulties being experienced in crossing and although he had some reservations as to the optimum time to install a crossing in advance of other major schemes he was convinced by the arguments and options set out in the documentation before him, the representations made to him and the further considerations set out above that such a scheme would be required in the future and as the amount of time for the finance to provide such a scheme was finite the scheme should proceed..  He confirmed his decision as follows:


to approve the proposed zebra crossing on Bridge Street as advertised and set out in the report (CMDE6).



Cabinet Member for Environment


Date of signing…………………………………


Supporting documents: