HarBUG has objected to the Valley Park planning application with following response and emails to County and District councillors and the local MP.
Please support HarBUG by objecting to the Valley Park plans at planning application P14/V2873/O before June 26th (this Friday)
Objection to Planning Application
Harwell Campus Bicycle Users Group represents Campus employees who cycle commute to the Campus from local towns. We encourage people to try cycling to work and campaign for better cycle infrastructure on the Campus and in the Science Vale area.
We would like to object to the Valley Park planning application, specifically the design of the B4493 South Site Access Proposed Roundabout, drawing no. 10219-HL-61 rev E.
The design is focused on motor vehicle use to the almost exclusion of cyclists and pedestrians. The current ‘token’ concessions to cyclists and pedestrians require a relatively long detour down each arm of the roundabout and poor crossing points. This will deter people from cycling along a route which has received investment to encourage more journeys by cycle from Didcot to the Harwell Campus.
The plans detail the designs compliance with Governments DRMB standards but this junction is not a motorway or a trunk road to which the DRMB standards are designed for. This is a housing estate access point crossing a ‘B’ road and an Oxfordshire County Council designated premium cycle route.
In summary we object to the design of the roundabout on the following grounds:
- It does not conform to the Vale of White Horse Local Plan policies detailed in the Sustainability Appraisal:
CP33 – Promoting sustainable transport and accessibility.
CP35 – Promoting public transport, cycling and walking.
- It does not conform to the Oxfordshire County Council LTP4, Connecting Oxfordshire Transport Strategy.
- It has been incorrectly designed using the DRMB standard as a basis rather than Manual for the Streets.
We would like to see a re-design of the junction using correct road design standards and the Oxfordshire County Council’s Design for Cycling standards. Taking into account that the east-west direction is a designated premium cycle route from Didcot to the Harwell Campus and cycling provision needs to be convenient, direct, safe and with no additional ‘give ways’ or time penalties that any other vehicle would experience.
Email to District Council
Dear Councillor Walker,
HarBUG (Harwell Campus Bicycle Users Group) represents Campus employees who cycle commute to the Campus from local towns. We encourage people to try cycling to work and campaign for better cycle infrastructure on the Campus and in the Science Vale area.
We currently have an issue with a poorly designed roundabout for the future Valley Park development in-between Didcot and Harwell. We have objected to the Valley Park planning application, as we did in 2016, specifically citing the roundabout design.
Please see attached our objection which we believe to be using the incorrect design standard, in addition, the design does not conform to district or county planning guidelines or transport policies.
As Head of Planning at Vale of White Horse District Council, please could you ‘call-in’ the roundabout design for review and re-design. The roundabout reference is : B4493 South Site Access Proposed Roundabout as detailed on drawing 10219-HL-61 revision E.
Part of the HarBUG remit is to encourage non-cyclists to try cycling to work and we run Cycle to Work days from Didcot (as well as Wantage and Grove) to the Campus. It is difficult to see how we will be able to convince people to try cycling to work if this roundabout goes ahead in its present form. It is especially disappointing as this route to the Campus has been designated a premium cycle route by the County Council and has received investment for new cycle infrastructure with more due for construction very soon.
The emails to the County Councillors and local MP were very similar wording. Please feel free to use any of the above text in a response to the planning application.