The Chairman of the Parish Council Writes …

Greetings and best wishes for 2022 to the residents of Long Wittenham from the chairman of the Parish Council.

As the new year unfolds the village will see many changes.  The new housing development by Vanderbilt should be completed by late Summer and the next phase of the village’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) is expected to take another step forward.

The NDP has cleared all the archaeological issues raised by Historic England and it is hoped that a public consultation will take place in January for six weeks.  Following that, it should be possible to schedule a referendum.

Plans for the Community Hub will be presented at a public meeting on a date to be fixed in February by the council’s preferred developer, Thomas Homes.  A planning application will be submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) when the NDP has been passed by the examiner and adopted.

There will be two important steps associated with the Vanderbilt housing development.  A new pedestrian crossing to the houses will be built in late January, and further along Didcot Road, a new build-out or chicane will be installed.

Both these features will have the effect of slowing down traffic as it moves through the village – all part of the new 20mph speed restriction which came into force in December.  Most drivers appear to be abiding by the new speed limit.  Further moves to reduce speeds will be discussed early in the new year.

Hopes are growing that the new cycle path from the village to the Barley Mow car park will be built next year.  The project is included in the county council’s ‘long list’ but the village’s county councillor, Dr Pete Sudbury, says that he is optimistic that it will moved onto the ‘short list’ in the new year.

Dr Sudbury said he would be “pushing hard” for the cycle path to go ahead and for it to be included in the new financial year which begins on the sixth of April.  He added: “There is a very strong case for the cycle path.  It is oven-ready with land being made available by the Buxton family, the owners of the land between the pub car park and Lower Farm”.

The most expensive section of the cycle path will be between Lower Farm and the village.  It presents structural challenges as it will have to be built over a deep ditch.  The government is pledged to encourage more cycling and walking and has made money available to local authorities throughout the country.

The cycling charity Sustrans plans to start work on improving the bridleway between Moor Ditch and Acklings on the 10th of January.  The project will cost more than £200,000.  Work on a £2m boathouse by Headington School is expected to start this summer alongside The Maddy between the village and the Barley Mow pub.

Long Wittenham is entering an exciting new phase in its development as the community moves forward with new homes, a public referendum on the NDP, a 20mph speed zone, new cycle path, improvements to the west-end bridleway and a boathouse.

Gordon Rogers, chairman, Long Wittenham Parish Council.

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10 Responses to The Chairman of the Parish Council Writes …

  1. David Corney says:

    This is great news. Thanks to Gordon and the Parish Council for all their hard work this year.

  2. Donna Harrison says:

    Just to ask why does it have to be a build out ??we are still asking for road hump instead before Saxons Heath !!!The 20mph limit no good at all got overtaken yet again coming in from Didcot side as we approached Saxons Heath ,,,,,When is a satisfactory solution going to be sorted out once and for all !!!!!

  3. Debra Steele says:

    Thank you Gordon but I am not sure where you are watching the reduced speed limit to 20 mph from. It is certainly not the Didcot Road. The new speed limit has made no difference what so ever. Are you watching from your home at the top of Westfield Road?? Why do Councillors never have a clue what actually goes on?? Pathetic Gordon Rogers, as usual. You have been for years. FROM THE DIDCOT ROAD WHERE THE NEW SPEED LIMIT 20 MPH!!!!!!!

    • David Corney says:

      Hi Debra, I would respectfully disagree with your observation. I walk my dogs several times through the main road of the village on most days, and since the new speed restriction has been brought in, I have been surprised by the number of cars that I have seen observing the new 20 mph speed limit. To me, I see a noticeable difference. It certainly is not every car, but I was surprised by the number of cars that I have seen, which do abide by it. As an approximation, (and not scientifically measured), I would nonetheless estimate that around 20% of all vehicles were obeying the 20 mph restriction. I was not expecting this, so was pleasantly surprised. As I see it, this represents a reasonable start.

      I would also add that I don’t think it helps to call anyone “pathetic”. Particularly about people who give up their time to work on behalf of others in the village. In my experience this tends not to add to the stock of influence and goodwill that are generally necessary in order to achieve constructive change.

      Perhaps it would help to discuss further? I would welcome hearing your point of view in more detail, but I would ask that be within a constructive and respectful context that could be helpful in contributing to potential additional future changes.

      Best regards, and hopefully with your understanding,

      • Donna king says:

        sorry but every time we leave for work 630 am and returm 4pm NO ONE is doing 20mph far from it ,also Deb lives on the Didcot road and sees it first hand everyday the problem.Also i will add my opinion as when i attended parish council meeting with the two petitions signed by majority of residents from Westfield and Saxons Heath which none of the councillors looked at and i also felt unwelcome …The only councillor who said thankyou was Peter.I will also add we want road humps not build outs as they clearly Do Not work!!!

      • Debra Steele says:

        Hi David,

        Thank you for your reply. I get fed up with people that do not even live on this road saying ‘its working’. I have lived here for over 30 years and the road is very dangerous and fast. I agree that the odd car may be doing 20mph but it is certainly not 20%. The only way it will work is with a speed camera.

        Lets hope with Ron Carter on the council you may actually listen to someone else that sees the speeds first hand. Rather than those that do not have a clue but think they do.

        I also agree with Donna (comment below). Humps are needed.

        Kind regards,


  4. Bill Symonds says:

    I am sorry but I have to agree that I have seen NO REDUCTION in the speed of cars going through the village during my regular village walks. 20 MPH is just not working. A speed reduction facility placed before Saxtons Heath is the only solution that will work.

  5. Emma Newman says:

    Thanks Gordon and LWPC and Pete Sudbury for all of the hard work to get the new speed limits over the line. I have noticed an overall improvement in the speed of traffic through the village since the new limits came into force. Coming from the CH end, cars do seem to slow down through the 30 and again the 20 mph limit and things generally feel like they are going at a slower pace as you drive through. Of course, not everyone will slow down and not everyone is driving at 20mph, but this has been a positive move towards slowing things down and the hope is that people will drive under 30 as opposed to under 40 as was happening previously. Let’s not use this forum to make inappropriate, personal attacks on the people in this village who actually work relentlessley to make things happen and create a better village life for us all.

  6. Debra Steele says:

    I am pleased that the limit has been reduced but the Didcot Road (where I live) is still as bad as ever with speeding cars every minute. I will be pleased when the Saxons Heath calming measure is implemented as this should help. Feel free to come & watch the Didcot Road for a whilst & see for yourselves. Of course, I mean those of you that do not live on it. Thank you.

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