Traffic and parking
(28th January 2024)
A Public Meeting was held in Oxfordshire’s County Hall on Thursday 25th January, attended by some members of the parish council and village residents, at which the proposed parking scheme was approved by the Cabinet Member for Transport. A statement was issued by parish council chairman Jim Donahue after the meeting.
Oxfordshire County Council had earlier published
the papers for the meeting.
Within these papers, the pages relating to the proposals for Whitchurch (Agenda Item 7) can be found between p195 and p279. (Recommendation and summary pp195-200; Street plans pp201-202; Survey results pp203-204; Comments for and against pp205-279.)
Two recent changes to the scheme that was presented for consultation last year are mentioned on p195. These increase the parking near the Picture Gallery from 3 to 5 spaces and reduce the length of the parking bay south of Manor Road by 5 m.
The proposed parking arrangements and traffic speed control arrangements were summarised in the Report to the May 2023 Parish Assembly by TAPWG chair Diana Smith.
The Whitchurch Traffic Report, a report of the findings of the 2021 Whitchurch-on-Thames Traffic and Parking Survey was published on 22/11/2021. Two maps of the High Street - the north part and the south part were published on 7/6/2022.
Minutes of Meetings
From May 2021 onwards there is a record of Minutes of TAPWG meetings, when made available.
TAPAG relaunched as TAPWG, May 2021
Extract from the Whitchurch Web news item of 13th May 2021: Farewell TAPAG, welcome TAPWG. The group of residents that advises the Parish Council has a new membership and a new name, Traffic and Parking Working Group. The members are Diana Smith (Chair), David Baty, Linda Gray, Frances Parkes and Mike Rayment. Together they will be taking a fresh look at what is needed to solve the village’s traffic and parking difficulties in the High Street and the other village roads. Parish council chairman Jim Donahue says: “The Parish Council has gone through a process over the past few months to refocus a revitalised TAPWG with a clearer set of objectives that are defined in its updated Terms of Reference. It has also recruited five additional members that will ensure the team is representative of different parts of the High Street and other parts of the village. Well done to councillors Smith and Leadbeater-Hart for driving this process!”
Diana Smith says there will be a survey to find out more about the current parking needs of the community. She also says that progress is now being made by SODC on the transfer of enforcement powers that is a pre-requisite for any scheme of residents’ parking.
An update on the plans for improving road safety in the High Street can be
found in a Henley Standard report of 15th February 2021. This mentions bollard
trials in the lower narrows, a possible pedestrian crossing at the Greyhound,
and a 20mph limit. The report covers the same areas of discussion detailed in minutes
of Parish Council meetings.
An Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council was held on 1st October 2020
to discuss traffic and parking and the future of TAPAG. The
minutes are available.
A second informal consultation was held on-line on Thursday 3rd September 2020. The minutes are available.
released three briefing documents prior to the meeting.
They can be consulted here:
Notice of Second Informal Consultation Opportunity, including Agenda and
Summary of Current Situation
Information Pack, including Questions and Answers
- Drawing of Proposed Road Markings submitted by MODE Traffic Consultants, November 2019
Another document released is entitled The effect of Pollution on Respiratory Health and Spread of Covid 19
The Traffic and Parking Action Group (TAPAG), known earlier as the Traffic and Pavements Advisory Group which was set up in 2010, was re-foccued in 2019 to advise the Parish Council on ways to solve the problems of traffic congestion and parking. Its Terms of Reference were adopted in September 2019 and updated in April 2021, when the name of the group was changed to the Traffic and Parking Working Group. The members of the group are listed on the Points of Contact page. It is an advisory working group rather than a parish council committee and therefore its meetings are not open to the public, nor its minutes circulated beyond the Parish Council.
In recent years the connected problems of traffic congestion in the High Street and unregulated parking have become of increasing concern. The issue was listed as the No 1 priority for residents consulted in the 2019 Village Plan: "1. Manage parking better to improve traffic flow, without making parking more difficult for residents (yellow lines, parking bays, residents parking)".
Following a traffic study and discussions with OCC Highways an outline plan was produced by TAPAG. The options were then assessed by MODE Consultants. An Open Day was held in the Village Hall in 2019, to present the proposals to residents. The display boards included plans showing the locations of double yellow lines and parking bays. Residents were invited to approve or comment. Subsequently a number of objectors met and submitted further comments. The level of opposition resulted in the proposals not being adopted by the Parish Council.