Parish Council Monthly News

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 3rd October with 8 Councillors and a large number of members of the public being present. Apologies had been received from Joe Bennett, Parish Councillor, Matthew Barber, Vale of White Horse District Councillor and Mike Fox-Davies Oxfordshire County Councill Councillor.

The main concern from the public was the disturbance caused by recent roadworks on the A34 resulting in large numbers of vehicles coming through the village, particularly significant numbers of HGV’s. This was despite the fact that the official diversion route was via the A4130 to Wantage. The following is a response from Kier Highways Ltd:

“Thank you for contacting the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 7 January 2017 regarding Diversion Route. Your query has been passed to Kier Highways Ltd; we work on behalf of Highways England and we are responsible for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the A34. We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience or possible disruption you may have experienced; we, as a team, are continually aiming to enhance and improve the strategic road network and appreciate receiving your feedback, as it allows us to monitor where any issues may arise and to rectify them if required.

When it comes to roadworks, the safety of the travelling public and our workforce is at the forefront of our business. We will never compromise their safety or the safety of others and as a result, full road closures may sometime be necessary.   We’ll always provide an alternative route if we close a section of one of our roads. However, we are conscious of the fact that diversion routes are not always as quick as the closed route. Our diversion routes have to accommodate all types of vehicles that would normally use the closed route and this includes HGVs. As a result, they need to be carefully planned and agreed with by Highways England, the local authority and the Police in order to avoid unsuitable routes and clashes with any local authority road closures.  We can advise that your comments have been passed on to our Traffic Management Team for this section of the A34.

Thank you for your enquiry and we do apologise for the disruption you have experienced as a result of the A34 resurfacing works.

I can confirm that all works are now complete as of 09th October.

Whilst we provided the road user with a suitable diversion route it did come to light that HGV’s in particular were not using it and preferring to use the shorter route through the village of which we had no control, however in an attempt to prevent this from happening we installed additional signage and cone detail which partly closed the road but we could only do so much as bound by the constraints of the signed TTRO we had in place.

With regards to any future works (with the exception of emergencies), I have requested that a temporary HGV environmental restriction is placed on the road in question and to include an option to close the road and provide a Marshall service for local residents should we ever be faced with a similar scenario whereby HGV drivers blatantly choose to ignore all temporary signage and the installed approved agreed diversion route.

............we do apologise for the bad experienced you have had and sincerely hope this doesn't happen again.

We hope you understand that a great deal of planning goes into roadworks and closures; to help you plan your journeys and to keep up to date with road closures in the future, we’ve included some useful links below”.

Network Rail’s application for consent to demolish Steventon Railway Bridge referred to the Vale of White Horse District Council (VWHDC) Planning committee for a decision in October was cancelled. The VWHDC have decided to commission their own independent assessment of the Network Rain submission: “the Vale Council are minded to instruct our own independent adviser to review the information submitted by Network Rail. This is so that we do not get challenged as to why we are using the same adviser as the Parish Council, or one that was suggested to us by the PC”..........As I need time to gather info from NR, submit this to an independent body and then assess the findings this report will be ongoing for the time being. I will inform Network Rail today that this application will be heard at committee when it is ready”.

The saga continues.

Following consultation and gathering of evidence, the VWHDC are nearly ready to submit their Local Plan 2031 Part 2 for independent examination. 
The VWHDC Local Plan 2031 Part 2 sets out policies and locations for housing for the Vale of White Horse district’s proportion of Oxford’s housing need up to 2031, which cannot be met within the City boundaries. The document also contains policies for the part of the Didcot Garden Town that lies within the Vale and detailed development management policies to complement Local Plan 2031 Part 1. It replaces the saved policies of the Local Plan 2011 and allocates additional development sites for housing.
Before the VWHDC submit their Plan, they are carrying out a six week publicity period, which will run until 5pm on Wednesday 22 November 2017

The VWHDC are hosting public events across the district to help explain the publicity process and how to comment.  
Exhibitions and public meetings

Exhibition 4-6.30pm followed by public meeting 7-8.30pm

How to comment
Responses can be made until 5pm on 22 November 2017 by:

For your comments to be considered by the VWHDC, you must provide your name and address. All responses received will be available for the public to view.

The next Parish Council meeting is on Tuesday 7th November at 7pm in the Village Hall. Please do come along and have your say during public participation.

Dr Chris Wilding - Chair



This website and its content is copyright of Steventon Parish Council
- © Steventon Parish Council 2008-2017.       All rights reserved.