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Column 11th September 2019

What has Highways England ever done for us?

It was Wantage and Grove Traffic Advisory Meeting this week.

This is a quarterly meeting at which County, District, Wantage and Grove Councillors meet with a Highways Officer and Police representative to discuss current issues.

As with all Council meetings, the public can raise issues at the beginning of the meeting and the Traffic Advisory meeting is one of the few council meetings when there are usually some questions or issues from members of the public.

At a previous meeting, several of the residents of the Pegasus Court Retirement Apartments on Mill Street in Wantage had asked for a bus stop near their development so that they didn’t have to walk up the hill - in either direction.

The answer at the time was that it depended on two things: funding for the bus stop signage, and the agreement of the County Council Highways team, the Police and the bus company that a safe location for the bus to stop could be identified.

Since then, the Town Council had agreed to provide funding and a meeting of the relevant people has taken place. It was reported that due to the width of the road and the lack of sight lines no safe place for the bus to stop could be found.

Several other issues were raised at the meeting which were of relevance to those with limited mobility.

The first was to point out that at the traffic lights at the Newbury Street, Portway, Ormond Road junction there are only pedestrian lights on three sides.

If you want to get across Newbury Street on the north side, without taking your life in your hands, you have to use three sets of pedestrian lights and it takes about 10 minutes. How mad can that be?

The second was an update on the reorganisation of bus stops and disabled parking in Wantage Market Place.

As all the buses through Wantage seem to congregate in the Market Place at the same time, the Traffic Advisory team have recommended putting in a “drop-off” bus stop in place of the disabled parking on the southern side (outside Nationwide).

As the bus stop in Newbury Street (outside the Blue Boar) isn’t used by buses, they propose to move the disabled parking here instead.

This proposal should come to public consultation shortly so if you have any comments on this proposal, now is the time to have them ready.


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