The A4074 is such a dominant feature of the Parish and village that Highways matters have a page of their own. Discussion on highways matters is a regular feature of almost every Parish Council meeting, especiallyas the Parish Council tries to push for improvements to improve safety.
Just prior to Christmas the County completed a run of drainage at the south end of the village to re-connect the road drainage to the ditch system that runs across Pylon Farm and on to Baldon House. It is hoped this will assist in taking flows from the Arboretum ditch.
There have been requests in the past to try to get some form of pedestrian crossing for the village. The lack of any significant fatalities in the village has always been an issue, although anyone trying to cross the road will tell you it is less speed and more the continuous flows of traffic that means it is difficult for anyone to cross (at peak times there are around 1000 vehicles/hour passing through the village in just one direction). Often risks have to be taken and with school children and the less able crossing the road the argument has been made that we'd rather have a crossing before a fatality occurs.
Our County Councillor has taken up the issue and is pushing for the installation of three crossing at various points on the A4074. The proposal includes one for Nuneham Courtenay. It is understood that a crossing at Shillingford is being installed in 2012/13. Berinsfield may get a crossing in 2013/14 if speed limits on the A4074 are reduced. A Nuneham Crossing is made difficult by the lack of street lighting (and one assumes cost is the main issue - therefore number of deaths and the cost of installation are a factor).
It is helpful to have your comments on difficulties crossing the road - near misses, time spent trying to cross, etc..
The matter of the uneven and often broken footpath surface within the village has been brought to the County Council's attention a couple of times recently. The white marking lines on the pavement indicate that the County has looked at the problem. A report has been promised.
If you trip or suffer injury as result of the uneven footpath please can you let the Parish Council know.
Whether anything will be done remains uncertain - we get contradictory messages from OCC. Any major workswill affect the trees. This will obviously have a significant impact on the look and feel of the village. We are urging OCC to do something to at least fill in the holes - they seem disinclined as this will wear away - something must be better than nothing.
The Parish Council has recent statistics and plans showing the level and location of accidents on the A4074 between Nuneham Courtenay and Heyford Hill. The key statistic is that the number of accidents on this stretch of road is nearly three times the County average. Prominent accident spots are where one might expect - where there are turnings onto the main road and on the series of bends between Nineveh Farm and Lower Farm Lane..
It is now some time since the County undertook its survey of speeds through the village. The survey showed that there was a speeding problem when the analysis was undertaken of the results against the benchmarks used by the County. This helped make the case for the replacement of signs and markers and for County officers proposing the 40 mph buffer zone past the Arboretum. it was always expected that the survey would be undertaken again once measures had been put in place to test whether these had had any impact. The Parish Council has asked for a re-survey.
Having the speed camera back on is clearly helpful in keeping speeds down - but only for a small stretch of road. It is recognised that the braking and acceleration of traffic at the camera creates other problems for those living close to the camera.
It is difficult to envisage what other measures can be brought into play. Speed humps are mot allowable on an unlit highway, and can cause more problems than they solve. The late Mark Williams tried a poster campaign - which got some publicity and seemed to work. Perhaps some form of campaign to promote 'respect' by motorists might help
The local Community Police Support Officers do additional speed checks from time to time. These improve behaviour for the time that the checks are in place!
Other HIghways Matters
The Parish Council met with the Area Steward in September 2011. A number of matters were discussed and some actions have been initiated. The Parish Council will continue to push for these and other items that parishioners raise. It is hoped that the final Village Plan will give a list of items that can be put forward. In the meantime we are picking up issues as they arise. Items that have been the subject of on-going exchanges with the County (in addition to those picked up above) are: