June 17, 2020 at 9:50 am #4954
June 18, 2020 at 7:39 am #4955alaniwiMember
Without disagreeing with the principle that we should be able to cycle safely on the road between Didcot and Harwell, this seems like a suitable opportunity to mention about a possible route being opened up between Great Western Park and Cow Lane (which is the track that goes north-northeast from Harwell towards the A4130 – see https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1292135 ). There is currently a small gap of about 350 metres in what would otherwise be a route between Didcot and Harwell avoiding the area of the roundabout. The council’s intention is to legally create a public footpath to bridge this gap (extending an existing 200 metres of footpath). This would be followed by whatever actual works on the ground are necessary, although there is certainly some existing track already — hard to see exactly what as this area is fenced off at present. It was meant to be all done by last autumn, so there was already delay before the start of the COVID outbreak, and I don’t know the timescale now.
It would possibly not be tactical to push too hard for bridleway status before the footpath is legally created, in case somebody important to the process gets nervous, and it might also not be tactical to push for it before a decision is made about the roundabout if it’s seen as an easy get-out from doing the right thing there. However, particularly if do we end up in a situation where a footpath has thankfully been created already and the roundabout has regrettably been allowed in its proposed form, then the case for an upgrade to bridleway could become compelling. We are only talking about 500 metres or so, because Cow Lane itself is already a bridleway.
The total distance from Didcot Parkway to Harwell via this route — Lydalls Road, Brasenose Road and past the Boundary Park — would be about 500 metres longer than via Wantage Road.
June 18, 2020 at 9:03 am #4956mea00csfMember
OS is out of date on this one. Go online and search “public rights of way south Oxfordshire” and you will find the latest official maps on Oxfordshire.gov.uk which show Cow Lane as bridleway for the entire length. As far as I’m aware this supercedes anything OS has.
June 18, 2020 at 9:27 am #4957NPMember
I think alaniwi is referring to the new east/west footpath being created to link GWP and Valley Park. I’d be concerned that it lacks sufficient width for a bridleway, the plans I saw involved a 2m wide path lined by fencing. It links 2 urban zones of several thousand houses, so pedestrian usage will probably be high. It’s very unsuitable as a bike route at things currently stand.
June 18, 2020 at 11:02 am #4959robmMember
In addition to the suggested comments above when objecting, I have also mentioned the fact that this route is regularly used by families and also by children from Harwell cycling to school in Didcot.
June 18, 2020 at 5:58 pm #4962MTGibboMember
Please take action by June 26th at the latest. It appears that the Valley Park application will be referred to the planning committee soon after that.
June 22, 2020 at 10:59 am #4963adminMember
The Cow Lane / Townsend pedestrian – cycle bridge has always been part of the Valley Park plans and will connect into Great Western Park as well as down to the Science Bridge on cycle paths. However commuting cyclists (and all cyclists) want the most direct convenient route and this is via the B4493 from Didcot. The roundabout design is not fit for purpose and needs to be re-designed. Please object and stop this roundabout.
June 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm #4970hcaMember
Whether it’ll change the outcome I cannot speculate but they’re at least responding to emails. I got a sympathetic reply from Councillor Medley.
In addition, Councillor Webber wrote the following: (I wonder how good or bad this proposed dedicated pathway would be – with the new roundabout built)
Thank you for your email.
You probably know that you are one of several cyclists who have written to me concerned about the new roundabout on the B4993 and I have raised it as an urgent issue with the Vale officers who are responsible for the Valley Park development. Clearly, it is important to keep cyclists as safe as possible, and in this present climate we do want to encourage people to get on a bike rather than into a car.The officers have pointed out that this is a County Council and Highways issue and that it has already been consulted on and taken to planning committee in April 2016. However, they are going to raise it with Highways officers. See the officers comments below:
“The plan for this roundabout and concerns about its design being unsuited to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders as expressed by Harwell Parish Council and local residents were considered by the planning committee in April 2016. The highways officer had no objection and the plan forms part of the resolution to approve.
Nonetheless, comments will be treated as representations on the Valley Park application and taken into account and summarised in a future report to planning committee. I shall also share the comments with the highways authority and seek their response.”
However, the good news is that a dedicated pathway for cyclists and walkers beside the B4993 will be built from the potential roundabout to Great Western Park. See below:
“The s106 agreement associated with application P17/V2777/O which granted outline permission for housing at Meadow View, Didcot Road secures a pedestrian/cycle path beside the B4493 from the Harwell link road through to the existing pedestrian/cycle path beside the B4493 at GWP. We have recently received a detailed application for housing on this site (P20/V1334/FUL).”
I hope this information is useful.
June 25, 2020 at 4:12 pm #4971LizKirbyMember
Really useful that Harbug flagged this. I have raised it within STFC and as a result STFC are coordinating with other major Harwell campus organisations to write to object.
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