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"Deeply Damaging"

How English Heritage described the development of The Elms in 2012.

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"Important Open Space"

How South Oxfordshire District Coucil classify The Elms

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Nelson Street 1-way System

Recently, Oxfordshire County Council opened a consultation on a proposal to make Nelson Street a 1 way street (Southern Road to High Street direction).  Whilst this is a reasonable idea in theory, without considering the other traffic issues that have an effect on Nelson Street, it is likely to cause as many issues as it resolves.

A recent letter printed in the Thame Gazette (available in their digital edition) from residents of Nelson Street outline the problems with this proposal.  We have reprinted this letter below as it is almost impossible to access on the Thame Gazette website.

If you would like to submit comment to Oxfordshire District Council regarding this proposal then please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The deadline for representations is Friday 13th February.

 

Dear Sir,

We are writing to raise awareness of the plans currently under consultation to turn Nelson Street one way. As residents of the road, this is a good thing in principle but it has one major flaw – it makes no allowance for the knock on impact of increased traffic levels travelling down Southern Road and Rooks Lane.

As a family who walk with young children (something actively encouraged by the town council) we use the Southern Road route daily, as do many others who use the Guide and Scout huts, Red Kite Children’s Centre, Southern Road playing fields, and Cuttlebrook.

Increasingly we find ourselves having to make way as traffic mounts the pavement, sometimes taking evasive action. Twice within the last three months our children have nearly been hit, whilst walking in the centre of the narrow footpath near Sainsbury’s, by cars driving along the pavement. It has become an accepted norm for drivers and a dangerous issue for the many who use the route to travel to and from school.

However that is just one area of concern. Due to the narrow entrance into Rook’s Lane being unsuitable for larger vehicles, a foreseeable impact of turning Nelson Street one way is an increase in traffic volumes on Southern Road thus making the route even more dangerous. The bottleneck at the Rising Sun end of Southern Road is already congested and the exit of Rooks Lane, by the Red Kite Children’s Centre, requires pedestrians to step into the road to see if it is safe to cross. Increasing traffic volumes will again increase the chances of an accident on a road where traffic already drives at speed.

Though the proposals would help to some extent in alleviating the chronic problem of cars mounting the pavement on Nelson Street, they do not include traffic calming proposals. As a result it is highly likely that the excessive speeds seen on Nelson Street will increase as it becomes perceived as “safe” to do so.

These issues are not new. We first raised these concerns with the Council in July 2011 as the building works for Windmill Place were underway. No infrastructure change happened as a result of that development. All that has happened since is that the problems and danger levels on the roads, as predicted, have increased.

We again find ourselves with housing development proposals in Southern Thame and no adequate solution proposed to the inevitable increase in traffic levels. The 37 proposed homes at The Elms will significantly increase traffic, particularly large delivery and construction vehicles, making it imperative to resolve the overarching problem of Southern Thame traffic in a holistic way rather than piecemeal. According to our recent conversation with the OCC Highways officer, there are limited funds available to introduce additional traffic measures in Thame, with any existing funds being used for the Nelson Street one way system. We believe this partial solution is not the answer.

Mounting the pavement is a criminal offence but the police are not able to permanently station someone on these roads. If you see people mounting the pavement or experience a near miss, please report it. You can log incidents with OCC Highways’ Mark Francis (0845 310 1111) or by calling 101 to report it with the police. Only by the local council, OCC Highways and police realising the size of the issue will they recognise something needs to be done.

If you would like to influence road safety in Southern Thame, the Nelson Street traffic proposal is open for all to respond: email the Traffic and Safety Improvements Team (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or call 01865 815717 by Friday 13th February.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Seddon and Rachel Fisher

20 Nelson Street

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