UPDATE (APRIL 2013)
At our request the County Council have installed a traffic monitor on the Stanton Harcourt Road by Tar Wood Farm which will count the number of vehicles currently going through the village. The Council is also in the process of arranging a manual traffic count at the Witney end of Chapel Road. This will give us some good data to be able to compare with figures already held by the Council and to assess what the likely effect of the proposed new junction will be on traffic through the village.
UPDATE (February 2013)
The Parish Council have been in discussion with the both the County and District Councils. We have strongly expressed our concerns that if this new junction were to go ahead the level of traffic throughout the village will increase to an unacceptable level. The County Council have agreed to conduct a traffic survey throughout the village to ascertain where traffic is coming from / going to – they can then apply the results to their forecast figures. Once these are available we will have a better idea as to the effect that the proposed junction would have and we will report further.
Mr. C. Hargreaves
West Oxfordshire District Council
Oxon. OX28 1NB
South Leigh Parish Council
c/o Keble House
Church End, South Leigh
Oxon. OX29 6UR
19th December, 2012
WEST OXFORDSHIRE LOCAL PLAN CONSULTATION
PROPOSAL TO EXTEND SHORES GREEN JUNCTION TO INCLUDE A 4-WAY JUNCTION
OBJECTIONS ON BEHALF OF SOUTH LEIGH AND HIGH COGGES SUBMITTED BY THE PARISH COUNCIL
Thank you for meeting with the Parish Councillors the other day. We found it most useful.
We are, of course, extremely worried by this proposal and the effect it will have on our small rural village. We strongly feel that this will significantly increase the traffic through the village and were surprised that the WODC were suggesting this change without having done any specific traffic flow surveys and models on what the effects on South Leigh specifically would be. We were pleased to hear that this work will be undertaken before any final decision is made. As you will appreciate we want to ensure that any survey is undertaken on the basis of representative traffic during the working week in both university and school term time and covers at least three 12 hour periods starting at or preferably before 7:00am and taking place on different days of the week.
As you are no doubt aware our main concern is the level of traffic that is likely to use the village as a 'cut through' at all times and especially when the traffic flow on the A40 is high. This use as a 'cut through' used to be just at peak times but is increasingly becoming a regular all day event and with the building of new houses at Carterton, Curbridge and East Witney this problem will only get worse.
The village roads are totally unsuitable to take any more traffic. They were built for light local traffic use only. The road surface on the way East towards Sutton is unsuitable to carry more vehicles and is currently breaking up in several areas.
Most of the road is single track with many blind bends.
In some areas of the village the housing / hard landscape comes right to the edge of the road leaving no soft options for a vehicle to take should it need to.
The passing places are not sufficiently maintained. Many people do not even bother to use the passing places instead placing their cars on the verges and further damaging our countryside and environment.
Often when people use a 'cut through' they have already been delayed and often feel under greater time pressure; as a result their speeds increase and their patience diminishes – all very unsuitable behaviours for small village lanes. As there are virtually no roadside footpaths in South Leigh, increased traffic will mean increased danger to residents. We have particular concern for the safety of children and our many older residents.
The roads regularly flood becoming impassable in two main sections of the village. This is becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence and if the new junction is built it will throw more water into the Limb Brook which will increase its height and flow increasing the problem further. In addition the roads are often wet from water running off from the fields due to lack of adequate drainage.
As we are never visited by OCC gritters in winter the road often becomes extremely icy both from surface water and otherwise. We have had many reports of incidents and this will only get worse with increased traffic flow.
We are trying to maintain South Leigh as a community, hard enough in these times as it is. Increased traffic flow and our village being seen as simply a 'commuter cut through' is not going to help. Yet we are always being urged by government and the ‘big society’ to work hard to provide an inclusive and supportive core where people won’t become isolated. We need our villagers to be able to move about the village without it becoming unsafe through high volumes of traffic.
Apart from the concerns of traffic through the village we are also very worried about the effect the actual junction will have on our lives.
Our parish stretches out to include High Cogges and the other houses close to the A40. We are very concerned that there will be light pollution and increased noise levels from the junction itself.
Our residents chose to live in this village for a safe, peaceful and rural environment with a community spirit; otherwise they would have chosen to live in a town. If this development goes ahead this choice is likely to be taken away from them.
We would very much like you to revise your plans and consider either making a junction where Stanton Harcourt Road crosses the A40 (which after all was built originally to take this traffic as part of the CLR development and has the major traffic junction at Oxford Hill) or by pressing the County Council to take the decision to improve the A40 to an extent where there would be no advantage to traffic to cut through South Leigh and not completing the Shores Green junction until that is achieved.
South Leigh Parish Council