New Bike Stands in Wantage

New Bicycle Stands have been installed around the Market Place and at the Bus Stop at the Charlton Road Roundabout to encourage cycling within the town.

 

UPDATE – Wantage is opening safely

The Town Council has taken on board the comments and concerns about the proposal to temporarily close the southern side of the Market Place from 12 July, with the loss of parking spaces. It is still keen to proceed with a scheme that provides more pedestrian space in the Market Place and assists social distancing.

Over the coming week the Town Clerk will be working with highway officers to consider how any loss of parking spaces can be reduced and determine how other concerns, including disabled parking, taxi parking, bus stops and loading/unloading can be addressed. This will also involve consulting with those that have expressed concerns. As a result the introduction of a scheme in the centre of the Market Place may be delayed. It is still planned to temporarily pedestrianise the area to the west of the Market Place, (in front of Marmalade, 30 Something and The King Alfred’s Head) from 4 July.

The Town Council is acutely aware both of the government’s desire that local authorities should take steps to ensure that opportunities for social distancing in our high streets are maximised and at the same time the need to support local retail and hospitality businesses who have been so badly hit during the lock down.  There remain a significant number of people who are anxious about leaving their homes let alone visiting the shops.  The more the Town Council can do to allay these fears by creating more and safer pedestrian space the better it will be for footfall in our Market Place and beyond.

The Town Council does wish to do the best for the town in these difficult times and would welcome thoughts or ideas on how best to provide additional temporary pedestrian space without losing too many parking spaces. As previously advised, please e mail: clerk@wantagetowncouncil.gov.uk with suggestions.

Civil Parking Enforcement Introduction

Civil Parking Enforcement

South Oxfordshire District Council – Cherwell District Council – Vale of White Horse District Council – Oxfordshire County Council

Councils working together to understand feasibility of progressing

Introduction

Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) is the decriminalisation of most on-street parking offences such as parking on a double yellow line meaning they are no longer considered a criminal offence.

By introducing Civil Parking Enforcement, the enforcement of these offences transfers from the Police to local authorities who employ Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) to patrol and issue fixed penalty notices.

While Oxford City (County Council service) and West Oxfordshire currently operate Civil Parking Enforcement for on-street parking, in the districts of Cherwell, South & Vale parking offences are still a police matter. Currently Thames Valley Police’s resources are understandably prioritised on matters other than parking enforcement. Such parking violations however are of significant frustration to local residents and businesses alike.

Therefore the County Council, Cherwell, Vale, and South Oxfordshire District Councils have therefore been working in partnership to explore the business case for implementing CPE within these areas.

There has been a long-term desire to create a common approach across Oxfordshire with regards to parking in order to enhance our ability to better manage traffic flows in our towns and villages.

What we have done so far

A cross-authority officer-led working group commissioned an initial feasibility study to consider different operating options available to the councils along with what initial and ongoing investment would be required.

The results of this work will be reviewed by the working group upon its imminent completion, and the group is expecting for initial review by senior officers and relevant members by April.

To enable CPE to be enforced across the county it is essential that signage is correct and road markings are of a sufficient standard. Oxfordshire County Council officers are currently carrying out condition survey samples in order to provide indicative costs to bring the markings up to an enforceable standard.

Programme

Below is an outline planned programme officers are working to.  It should be noted that applications for CPE are often grouped by the DfT and exact guidance will be sought to clarify when an application will be accepted. The DfT are advising the turnaround time on applications is currently 20 weeks.

Indicative time scales

February 2020 Completion of conditioning surveys including key villages
March 2020 Completion of feasibility studies assessing CPE
March 2020 – June 2020 Discussion and agreement on option to progress including formal sign off/approval by all councils concerned.
June 2020 – November 2020 Development of CPE bid including relevant consultations
November 2020 Submission of bid to DfT
December 2020 – June 2021 Assessed by DfT (Anticipated turnaround time c. 20 weeks)
June 2021 Tendering for CPE contracts
September 2021 Estimated go live

 

Climate Emergency

Wantage Town Council Launches Climate Change Initiative

Wantage Town Council has added its voice to the growing environmental debate by declaring a Climate Emergency and establishing a new Sub Committee to help the Town Act on this. At its inaugural meeting this month Councillors pledged to take into account the environmental impact of its decisions and also to reach out to the local community, both householders and businesses. A budget of £10,000 – in part funded from savings made elsewhere – has been established to assist local projects that will contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint. The new Committee Chair, Dr Angela Dunford says “ We look forward to working with local partner organisations, individuals and businesses to promote initiatives that will have a positive environmental impact. Whether it’s community tree planting, waste reduction, energy advice or many other areas, we believe we owe it to future generations to play our small part in this global issue,”

Vice-Chair Erik Johnson added, “ Meetings of the Committee will be open to the public and we would encourage anyone with an interest or positive suggestions to contribute. Alternatively, ideas and suggestions can be sent to the Town Council. “

Contact details, meeting dates and rules available on the website.