Residents will have noticed that the work has finished on new cycle by-pass lanes in the High Street opposite Red Barn and number 35.
The new features are designed to make it safer for cyclists and form part of the cycle route linking Didcot with the Culham Science Centre.
There has been a warm welcome to the lanes from many villagers, but there are concerns about people parking on the road, making it dangerous for cyclists who are forced out into traffic. The primary school has been asked to impress on parents not to park cars in the lanes and on the High Street during drop-off and pick-up times.
One cycling resident said that the new bypass lanes work very well. He said that it was much safer to be able to ride through the chicanes without having to play ‘chicken’ with oncoming traffic or worry about cars approaching from behind.
He said: “I was surprised that the cycle lanes next to the chicanes are humped, but this should stop them filling up with litter as they do on the Didcot Road. The bypasses are a welcome addition to the High Street and I hope that car owners will respect the lanes by not parking on them”.
A car is commonly parked beyond and very close to the humped section of the cycle lane near the village hall. It takes place outside school drop-off and pick up times and I suspect that the car belongs to a local resident or to one of their visitors. It makes it impossible for the lane to be used safely and I have seen a cyclist avoid the lane and take his chance on the vehicular chicane for this reason. Is it an offence to park in the section of the cycle lane with a solid white line adjacent to the kerb?
I have spoken to the council. DfT guidance specifically says parking controls should be used when cycle lanes are likely to be blocked by parked cars.
I think this was raised at design stage as it was obviously going to happen. Hopefully the council will review it quickly as it is clearly becoming normal to park there, it is blocked more often than not. No doubt the excuse us “everyone else always parks there”. The chicanes would be safer for drivers with double yellows either side too, with better visibility. We have all seen the gridlock when cars come from both directions at the same time.
How come this got done so quickly and the speed hump we have been asking for at the approach to village by Saxons Heath has not?This matter needs to get sorted out,sick of saying it!!!!!!
The chairman of Long Wittenham Parish Council Gordon Rogers replies: The parish council did not ask for the cycle bypass lanes to be installed. They were put in by the county council as part of the Science Vale Cycle Network project which links Abingdon, Wantage, Harwell Campus, Milton Park, Didcot and Culham Science Centre, passing through LW.
The parish council opposed the cycle bypass lanes because we thought they would be of marginal value and would cause parking problems in the High Street particularly during school drop-off times in the mornings and afternoons. Some people park their cars on or near the cycle bypass lanes, posing a risk to cyclists.
As for the new zebra crossing and traffic calming measures in Didcot Road, this is another county council project and work is due to start in the spring of next year.