Monthly Archives: December 2014

Marcham Road Crossings Decision by Oxfordshire County Council

Councillor Neil Fawcett tweeted today
“Sadly the County Council Cabinet voted unanimously to allow the moving of the Marcham Road crossing #Abingdon”

Initially Oxfordshire County Council rejected the crossings, then at a second hearing reversed that decision and allowed the moving of the crossings. That decision was  referred back to the Cabinet for this final decision.
Marcham Road Crossings
The lights will consequently move  from where they can be seen currently to where the nearest car is speeding.

Moving the pedestrian lights was proposed by the developers as a traffic mitigation measure so that traffic congestion after the development of 159 dwellings on Drayton Road is no worse than before. The area already suffers traffic congestion, and has done for decades, and local people want real road improvements before any further development.

The Leader of The Vale of White Horse District Council is still looking to get legal advice about whether any further avenues are still open to oppose the crossings,

Wilsham Road buildings are getting taller

Wilsham Road buildings
Looking across the River Thames towards Wilsham Road, there are plans to make the buildings taller.
Wilsham Road buildings
1. A bungalow got demolished back in the spring and is now being redeveloped as a 4 bedroom house.

The smaller bungalow in the  middle is staying but will soon have two-storey neighbours either sides.

2&3. There is planning permission to redevelop the bungalow, with the grounds, into two two-storey houses.
Wilsham Road buildings
4. Red Line Outboard Services, at Ferry Boat House, were moving out last Friday, and so that looks likely to be next building to grow an extra storey.

Last chance to comment on the Draft Local Plan 2031

A non political group has come together in North Abingdon – called the ‘North Abingdon Local Planning Group’ (NALPG).
Draft Local Plan 2031
At Long Furlong Community Centre on Saturday morning, at the same time as the 24 hour carols, there was the second of 2 drop in sessions to give local residents a chance to talk to members of NALPG.

They are opposing the Vale of White Horse (VWHDC) Local Plan 2031 because:

  • 1000 homes would be built in North Abingdon
  • Green Belt land is in danger
  • traffic congestion and air quality could be made worse

The 2031 plan has been approved by VWHDC, and now goes to the independent planning inspectorate. The plan can still at this late stage be changed – if demonstrated to be not ‘sound’ or not meeting legal requirements, which is why NALPG want people to comment.
Draft Local Plan 2031
Information is also available on their website to help people to comment. The deadline for comments is 19th Dec 2014 at 4:30pm.

NALPG members told me that these plans do not just effect North Abingdon. The plans could have a considerable effect on traffic and air quality in central and south Abingdon.

If VWHDC are NOT successful in securing the A34 full diamond interchange at Lodge Hill – a big unknown at this stage, then the peripheral road will become more like an estate road with roundabouts and crossings – possibly 30 MPH. It is anticipated that a lot of the new jobs will be to the south of Abingdon in places like Harwell, and Milton Park. That will result in more traffic heading from the new houses round the peripheral road, stopping traffic getting to the A34 from central and south Abingdon – making congestion and air quality worse all round.

The big question is where would the houses go if not on the Green Belt – close to North Abingdon.

24 Hours Carol Singing Marathon – Long Furlong Community Centre – while mortals sleep

Starting on Friday (yesterday) at Noon there has been a 24 Hours Carol Singing Marathon at Long Furlong Community Centre. Lots of groups have taken part … including Long Furlong School, regular choirs, the U 9s Football club, the 3rd Abingdon Guides.

Just before midnight The Street Pastors sang. After midnight followed 2 Dirty Dancing Ladies, then Swedish Lucia …

Into the small hours as frost formed outside there were late night turns …
24 Hours Carol Singing Marathon
2am …
24 Hours Carol Singing Marathon
3am …
24 Hours Carol Singing Marathon
4am …
24 Hours Carol Singing Marathon
5am …

24 Hours Carol Singing Marathon
In the final 30 minutes from 11:30am to noon there was a big finale with many people coming to the final carols. About 1200 people took part during the 24 hours.

They raised money for The Archway Foundation and Blue Sky Thinking. Find out more on their facebook page.

Abingdon Post Boxes (V.R to E.R)

Abingdon’s first pillar box was erected on Ock Street on August 6th 1857 (According to The Postal History of Abingdon by G H R Homer-Wooff).
Abingdon Post Boxes
There is still a pillar box on Ock Street, at the front of the Royal Mail sorting office, but the initials E.R. for Elizabeth Regina show that it was put there after 1953 – the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Back in 1894 the Abingdon Directory shows that there were half a dozen post boxes in Abingdon:

  • Ock Street – Pillar Box
  • Park – Wall Box
  • St Helens Wharf – Wall Box
  • Vineyard – Wall Box
  • Northcourt – Wall Box
  • West End – Wall Box

Abingdon Post Boxes
Two of those wall boxes from the reign of Queen Victoria have survived:

St Helen’s Wharf…
Abingdon Post Boxes
and Conduit Road.
Abingdon Post Boxes
The latest Abingdon post box can be found inside the West St. Helen Street Co-op. It is made from shiney molded plastic, and looks like an oversized toy.