Early Thoughts – Infrastructure, Traffic and Travel

Questions

 Utilities

This is an area about which there is huge concern but a dearth clarity about the data.   There is clearly a limit to the extent to which consecutive developments can simply tap into existing infrastructure without hitting capacity problems and in the case of sewage and surface water drainage there can be little doubt that thiscapacity is already too frequently exceeded. We need to get some reliable baseline data.

Flooding & Drains
  • Do we have a clear record of the flooding within the village over the recent past?
  • Is there a publicised and well underestood flood plan for the village?
  • Do we have general information is available about the capacity of the drainage systems for the village and if not – where can we get it from?
  • Map the various holding ponds and pumping stations around the village that supposedly represent a sustainable drainage system (SUDS.)  Are we clear who has on-going  responsibility for their safety and maintenance and are contact numbers publicly available for use in the event of their malfunction?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining / upgrading the ditch system around those fields liable to contribute to village flooding and is there an agreed schedule?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining / upgrading the drain system the blocking of which has played a major part in past village flood events and was this a one-off or recurring issue?
  • Sustainable drainage systems of very recent estates have already overflowed.  Does this mean  developer ‘run-off’ calculations are incorrect?  If developers only have to mitigate their own presence  would it be legitimate to agree payment for additional capacity from the infrastructure levy at the time of development?
  • There have been complaints about sewage-backwash. Do we have any records that tell us when and where this is a problem?

Other utilities

  • There are issues of water pressure in parts of the village. Do we have any data upon this either from Residents and from Thames water so as to assess to what extent it is a genuine problem.
  • Can we access records as to exactly what the historical situation is regarding the capacity and reliability of the electrical supply and how this compares to the National average?
  • We have been told that electricity supply problems relate not to capacity but mostly to ‘shorting’ of overhead circuits against vegetation. Is this something we can largely pre-empt by increasing awareness?
  • There seem to be big variations in people’s experiences of broadband speed and reliability. Could we get people to measure it and fill an onlione form  also saying if they would pay a bit more for fast broadband?
  • Seek information from within the village as to which mobile phone service offer the most reliable reception and convey this both to villagers and mobile service providers.
  • Can we actively liaise with utility providers to establish the true situation regarding capacities and resilience.

Traffic and transport

Traffic is a major concern to residents. It contributes to air and noise pollution and makes efficient travel by vehicle problematic.  Worst of all it creates an unacceptably hostile environment for pedestrians and, especially, cyclists thereby discouraging active, healthy low-carbon forms of village connectivity. Simple traffic census data tells only half the story:   it is not simply traffic volume but the nature of the vehicles  the width of the roads and  of the pavements alongside them.

Traffic Surveys

Dept Transport 2012 Publication

Dept Transport 2012 Publication

  • We have various traffic surveys available.  What do they actually  tell and how can that help influence where more building is /is not acceptable?
  • The ONS 2011 census  and the Parish Plan contain information about lifestyles including car and van ownership, journeys to work etc. What do they tell us and are there ways we might forestall any problems?
  • We have Department of Transport Predictions of general traffic flow through to
  • We have the CRAITLUS report. What does that tell us about traffic and transport?

Low-carbon travel

  • How many children cycle to school?  How does this compare with national norms?
  • How many children walk to school?  How does this compare with national norms?
  • How many adults would feel safety concerns about their child walking or cycling to school?
  • Banbury is within cycling distance. How many residents cycle to work in Banbury along the A361?
  • Realistically, might you cycle to Banbury if there was a proper cycle path?
  • Developers draw attention to public footpath routes and cycle-ways.  How many people regularly use them to get around the village?
  • If there are public footpaths that you could use what discourages you from doing so?

Traffic Hot-spots

  • What do the traffic surveys (both from Gladman and from the Parish Council)  tell us?
  • There are 5 obvious traffic hot-spots in the village: are there other problem areas?
    • The mini-roundabout
    • The High St shops
    • The Milton Road junction
    • The Primary school
    • The Warriner school
  • If there was money as a result of developments could any of these be made less problematic? (e.g. improved parking, one-way systems,  etc)
  • Given that the A361 is an A-road and cannot be closed to HGV, what realistic actions would most improve the traffic situation through Bloxham?
  • What specifications should our NP contain regarding all of the above?

Transport

  • Do we have baseline information as to people’s travel habits?
  • Do we have realistic travelling-times and costs to key workplace destinations?
  • If there was a shuttle service to Adderbury or Deddington at the start and end of the standard working day connecting Bloxham with the Banbury-Oxford  bus service would anyone use it?
  • Are people aware of online transport-planning tools to provide travel information?
  • Are people aware of online car-sharing tools?
  • Do we have plans to provide electric-car recharging points anywhere in the village?
  • Current developer applications have very optimistic ‘travel plans’ to reduce carbon footprint. Did the last two estates have travel-plans and are the working well?

 Early thoughts on Infrastructure and the N.P.

This is hard to suggest any NP plan content without more hard data.  There are going to be various  considerations:

  1. Can we establish aworking relationship with the utility companies that leads to much greater up-front clarity on their capacities?
  2. Are there aspects of infrastructure where capacity cannot practicably and sustainably meet the capacity of further developments. (E.g. mini-roundabout, narrow pavements etc) ?
  3. If there is evidence of experts paid by developers spinning the facts on issues (such as run-off rates and attenuation for surface water) is there a way to combat this?
  4. If we are to receive additional funds from developments (e.g. infrastructure levy) then could some of this be used to use designs that ‘more than mitigate the presence’ of new developments to address sustainability issues?
Click here to page through the strategy pages.

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