Unsolved in 2013 – The Bins, The Barriers, and The Boat

At the end of 2013, there appears to have been no progress in finding a solution to the bins at the bottom of Bridge Street. At one time they were hidden away behind the Old Police Station, but once development started they lost their home, and have been in full view for about three years.

The barriers at the upper end of Stert Street have been there for two years now. Some partial work was done on stabilising the underground River Stert in 2012, at the lower end, but there has been no further progress since, and so that bus stop is still not in use.

A boat has been in a field next to the River Thames for about a year – since it got beached in last winter’s floods.

They may not be high priorities but they are all very noticeable.

34 thoughts on “Unsolved in 2013 – The Bins, The Barriers, and The Boat

  1. Spike

    Also I have noticed a large increase in signs being tie-wrapped to every available fence and post space around the town to advertise all sorts of services and offers. Surely there must be some sort of permission required before you can erect signs in public view on council property or land. They are becoming a real eye sore and detracting from the historic history of our town. Some of the worst examples are the new care home opposite McDonalds, all round the roundabout with the Abbey Monk, all along the walls of The Ock Mill pub. If this practise is not curbed now we will end of like the USA with bill boards and advertising everywhere.

  2. Chris

    I meant to ask about the boat. maybe with the recent floods it could be convinced to go sink in the Thames instead?
    Anyone know why the person who owns it never moved it? could we perhaps charge him for parking his boat on a footpath 🙂 come on VOWH youre missing out on parking fines 🙂

  3. BykerRode

    Its all about passing the buck.
    The Statutory Authorities cannot agree amongst themselves as to who’s responsibility each problem is.
    Thus nothing gets done.
    Maybe Nicola can bang some heads together.

  4. shellsuit

    Nicola blackwood recently sent out ‘The Big Abingdon Survey’ to canvas opinions from Abingdon residents. You can use this to comment. Maybe she is fed up with local councils and wants to know what we really want….

  5. Rolf

    Shellsuit….”The Big Abingdon Survey”, how much did that cost? and what is its objective?

    Get the basics right, sort the barriers out and shift the bins.

    You don’t need a survey to realise that.

    Even I know that and Im not the local MP!!! come on Ms Blackwood, pull your finger out!

  6. Iain

    Not sure what these things have got to do with parliament:

    Barriers are county council. The county councilor for the area is alison rooke. The issue is to do with culverts over stert beneath road which is presumably in flood at the moment.

    Posters are the district council responsibility. Councilors for the area are julie mayhew-archer, lesley legge and jan mortar.

    I dont know about the boat but would assume its the vale too although it would depend where it is washed up as the south bank is managed by south oxfordshire dc.

    I know this sounds like passing the buck, but remember it was the wilson government in 1974 who set up the ridiculous set of confusing authorities covered by the three tier council system we have to operate in today. I dont think any of the councilors or officers are particularly keen on the structure. Certainly none of them set it up. Apparently any change needs to come through an electoral commission recommendation to parliament.

  7. Rachel in East St Helen Street

    Perhaps the boat, at least, will solve itself by floating off further down the river in the next round of flooding 😉 I took a picture of it just a few days ago as I found it extraordinary that it’s still there.

  8. Peter Del

    I complained to Ms. Blackwood on the ‘The Big Abingdon Survey’ about the bins, maybe she’ll do something about them.
    I hope they are removed by the Summer, as they are the first thing tourists see as they enter Abingdon over the old bridge.

  9. Craig

    Re boat, when I talked to the relevant person at the VOWHC he assured me it would be dealt “within the week” – that was 9 months ago.

  10. Chris

    Craig, nice to see the DC are on the ball 🙂

    Iain I thought it was all about money, or the lack of it re the barriers, something about subsidence? and/or the lack of anyone to willing to take responsibility for the huge cost of the repairs? I mean 2 years and no one can work out what to do is a little extreme don’t you think?

  11. John S

    Re Spike’s comment on the number of ‘notices’ tied and otherwise attached to various posts: I struggled with this issue in the context of a local drama group for years! There were quite clear regulations originating I believe with a Mr. J. Prescott several years ago, which never seemed to be implemented in practice, e.g. clear limits on the maximum size of posters and banners. I understood that notices are not allowed near to roundabouts and road junctions (!). The problem seems partly that responsibilities are divided, so that no-one knows who to get permission from and partly that no staff are available to take down offending signs. (And what about those awful ‘bed-sheets’ wishing ‘Happy Birthday’ to someone or other!
    John S

  12. Peter Burgess

    Residents have tried their utmost t get the green bins moved from Bridge Street. The problem is that no one will claim responsibility for them, so the buck passes between the Vale and Highways agency. The restaurants that own the bins have been able to break parking laws and environmental health issues are not enforced, so this has lead to a culture of being able to break the law without any fear.

  13. Iain

    Hi Chris

    I’m not up to speed with what’s happening on the stert street works I’m afraid. The last i heard was getting on for a year ago and I agree, it does seem to be taking a very long time. My understanding was the issue is yo do with the culvert underneath the street being at risk of collapsing, and the access being extremely challenging due to the river going in and out of flood. Having said that i would have thought they could have sorted it by now so you may be right that it’s about money.

    I don’t know if any of the county councilors have more information on this?

  14. Anon Coward

    re: ”The Big Abingdon Survey”

    surely this was just a standard Tory head office ‘survey’ with the Abingdon bits cut and pasted in ?

    Personally I always like the pictures of Nicola, she does a great ‘concerned and distressed’ face 🙂

  15. Chris

    Thanks for the info. It will be an even worse problem when the road falls ito the underground culvert, so how do we “get” their attention? its like roads and anything else where OCC are concerned. sharp intake of breath, “that will cost ya gov” I know its a multi agency job, environment, government, local government. But cant someone sit them all around a table and actually do something rather than nothing. its going to cost someone so bloody pay up. Whose arm do we twist?

  16. James

    Nice article, this does sum up the general lack of ‘action’ on certain issues which are clearly ‘too hard’.

    Re our not very visible MP, there is an election coming so she might show her face in the town, although probably just for the photo shoot and then back away to Oxford or London.

    I was somewhat amused to see in the electioneering leaflet that she was “campaigning for the diamond interchange”. I had understood that this cant happen as the A34 cant handle the extra local traffic and the county council has now choice but to prioritise national traffic concerns over local ones no matter how much fuss we kick up. Ie it was a rather naive issue to back, albeit one that lots of people seem to make.

  17. Anon Coward

    I was somewhat amused to see in the electioneering leaflet that she was “campaigning for the diamond interchange”. I had understood that this cant happen as the A34 cant handle the extra local traffic and the county council has now choice but to prioritise national traffic concerns over local ones no matter how much fuss we kick up. Ie it was a rather naive issue to back, albeit one that lots of people seem to make.

    And yet, a diamond interchange is being built at Chilton, just a few miles down the A34, arguably serving far less people…

    Seems if someone can find some of the money, then the higways agency can find a bit too, and make it happen.

    But Abingdon can’t, they can only find it for vanity cinema projects, in an already congested town centre, rather than something that would make a real difference to lots of us.

  18. James

    @ann its not about the cost of the interchange, the reason Chilton gets one is it wont put extra cars on the A34. For Abingdon if you live in the North of the town and say want to go to Tesco’s you will most likely use the A34 for a ‘local’ journey if you could and not go through town (hence why it would reduce in town congestion). Its these trips that would further congest the A34. I used to live in a town where everyone did just that. The town was quiet, but the dual carriage with 3 on/off ramps into the town was heavily congested by cars joining then leaving at the next junction and often only doing 50mph in the short stretch between’ and so creating a big bottleneck to ‘through’ traffic. A34 is over capacity as it is.

  19. Neil Fawcett

    I’m not up on the detail of the work on the culvert in Stert Street (it’s not my patch) but it was brought up at one of our locality meetings (where councillors from Abingdon and surrounding areas meet with County officers to discuss local issues) and my recollection is that it will be a big job for which funding is not currently allocated.

    As far as the A34 junctions are concerned we first heard about the plan to upgrade the Chilton junction in the last locality meeting and to say that Alison and I were surprised would be an understatement! We questioned why Chilton was considered a higher priority than Lodge Hill and will be pursuing the issue with the Cabinet Member responsible.

    My undersatanding is that the Highways Agency doesn’t object to Lodge Hill but has made clear that it wouldn’t fund it.

    I will be arguing that there is clearly far more need for Lodge Hill to be done and that if the County can find the funding for Chilton it should be able to find it for Abingdon.

  20. John Styles

    A reply I got from Oxfordshire County Council in May said
    “I have received a reply from our bridges section (they are apparently dealing with this as it is considered a structure) as follows “It is proposed to strengthen the weak section of culvert later this financial year. A specific date for the works has not yet been set. The earliest start is likely to be in September 2013. There is a very low risk that the culvert will now collapse as heavy vehicles are now prevented from running over the weak sections of the culvert by the barriers.””
    Personally, I am convinced that the road is, er, sagging more. At least the old A34 has been fixed so when Stert Street collapes we have 2 ways to go North to go the long way round.

  21. Steve

    Nice try at spinning in comment 8 Iain or perhaps you were too young. The local government reform in 1974 was put in place in 1972 under Ted Heath. Wilson became PM in March 1974. The Bains report had recommended unitary authorities but, as usual, the government wanted to keep control in the centre and most of the counties were Tory controlled and wanted to stay that way. Labour party was probably in favour of single-tier authorities.

  22. Iain

    Hi steve – no spin intended. I was only 6 at the time and living in scotland (where they decided to abolish all the historic shires) so apologies for mixing up messrs heath and wilson both of whom were pm in 1974 and neither was particularly good from my understanding. My point wasnt intended to be party political – just that it was done a long time ago and was not a decision either influenced or probably supported by current crop of councillors of any political persuasion

  23. Resident

    Not only are the bins a real eyesore! They obstruct the pavement and are often over filled with raw food waste! These practices break environmental law carrying heavy fines. Despite this and after many complaints about this to the VOWH DC and the Highways Agency they choose to do nothing about it. Maybe they are waiting for someone in a wheelchair or with a pram to get hurt or ran over from walking in the road to get past or for a child to catch a serious bug from such dirty bins? The fast food shop owners (Mahee, Posh Nosh and the Cottage Imperial Restaurant) need to fix this and take responsibility for THEIR rubbish!

  24. Chris

    Has the Boat floated down the river yet? Footpath flooded and def too wet to walk on the meadow yesterday to find out.

  25. Chris

    James are you serious?
    Well it can go anywhere it likes it can only go as far as Culham lock. then the environment agency would have to deal with it :). Anywhere is better than the meadow..

  26. Bob a Visitor

    A Visitor The Commercial Green Wheelie Bins

    As a frequent visitor to Abingdon I have noted the efforts being made to further improve the towns appearance both by the council and various local businesses.
    Abingdon is a beautiful town and a lot of people are trying to make it even better.
    In particular I have seen significant and pleasing progress in the area of Bridge Street leading from the historic bridge, namely the refurbishment of the Nags Head and the Broad face pub – The major development of the Old Goal including the Old Police Station and the fantastic recent upgrade of the Crown and Thistle Hotel, all improving the street scene. So why are three ugly, dirty and smelly bins allowed to encroach the Bridge Street highway pavement, the location of such having been unlawfully assumed I understand by three fast food shops who probably don’t like the smell of their own food waste so don’t keep the bins in their own properties.
    All you bloggers could contact the council at FixMyStreet.com and your local MP – Nicole Blackwood on nicola.blackwood.mp@parliament.uk demanding their action and let the ‘waste’ hit the fan.

  27. Chris

    Bob I think we tried that.. it fell down the proverbial black hole called the Nicola Blackwood. she only sticks her face round here at election time. Hence all the comments above about bins, boats and borders. .

  28. Resident

    Whilst I agree with the previous comment, this still needs urgent action. The more people who complain the more likely something will be done. These bins have got to go!


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