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Newsletter 15 February 2019

We've seen some comments on the internet about parking in Wantage and wanted to share:

I quote: "The problem of car parking in Wantage is actually several different problems as the needs of residents and of retailers are not always aligned. Parking revenue is also a valuable income stream for councils. One of the issues is that there are three organisations resposnsible for parking – the Town Council in the Market Square, the Vale Council at The Beacon, Limborough Road and Mill Street and the police elsewhere – and the level of enforcement varies greatly. Plans are being discussed to have all parking de-criminialised, so giving the Town Council control of all parking enforcement which will then be done more consistently."

Firstly, The Vale is responsible for the car parks at the Beacon and parts of the car parking on Limborough Road (not Sainsburys or King Park) and the car park at the bottom of Mill Street, not the onstreet parking and they do carry out ticket enforcement. The Town Council is responsible for the car parking in the centre of the market place and once again does carry out some enforcement.

Secondly, The Police are responsible for all roadside parking - parking in disabled spaces without a badge, parking on double yellow lines and oppositeor within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction is always illegal as is parking on pavements. Single yellow lines indicate some parking restrictions. But the police don't see illegal parking as a priority and rarely enforce these laws.

Thirdly, The Vale are discussing de-criminalisation with the County Council and the Police and it might happen, but the Vale would be responsible for parking regulations not the Town Council. I asked our Town Clerk if the Town Council had discussed taking on parking enforcement and was informed that this was fake news.

The comment continued: "[de-criminalisation] won’t, of course, magically reduce the number of cars that wish to use the town. Where will they go? Many retailers believe that they will stay in their driveways while their owners go online. There is no clear solution to all this. The Wantage Chamber of Commerce is looking into this issue and is in discussion with various parties as to how matters can be resolved for the benefit of residents, retailers and shoppers alike.What’s your suggestion? Contact admin@wantagechamberofcommerce.co.uk with your views." 

We agree that there is a conundrum. If parking laws were enforced in Wantage there wouldn't be enough spaces in the car parks for everyone wanting to park in the town so some extra parking would have to be found. Perhaps some of the current yellow lines could be removed. Perhaps more space for car parks could be found. Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce could come up with a solution or perhaps the Neighourhood Plan might propose something. Perhaps we should contact the Chamber of Commerce with our views - let me know if you decide to do so.

Anyway - other news this week is that the Vale is about to approve the plans for a new primary school on Crab Hill. We understand that the plans meet the County Council standards (these appear to be a little like the parking standards and require the developers to do the absolute minimum). The school has one nursery room and two classrooms for early years, and each year from years 1 to 6. Key stage 2 pupils are on the upper floor. The Hall will be big enough to take about 200 adults, so lunches will have to be staggered and assemblies will have to be by year. The sick room is combined with the general office. There is one small studio space and one even smaller breakout area on each floor. As far as we can tell, no teachers have been involved in the design. The Town Council tried to get the plans discussed at a Vale Planning meeting but it has been taken out of their hands.

Finally road works:

  • As you may have seen there are traffic lights on the A417 near Featherbed lane again - they should only be there until Monday 18th.
  • The traffic lights on the A417 near Crab Hill could stay until 22nd February
  • The A417 at Challow Road between the Camel Roundabout and Winchester Way will be CLOSED this weekend from 7am tomorrow 16th until 4pm Monday 18th
  • There will also be traffic lights on the A417 Challow Road on 27-28 February somewhere between Winchester Way and Warmans Close
  • Also Roadworks are possible on the A417 at East Challow until the end of May
  • Then traffic lights on the A417 just south of the Challow Station bridge from 25 February - 1 March
  • And traffic lights and possible road closures on the A417 just south of Stanford in the Vale from 21st to 25 February
  • The A338 in North Grove will keep traffic lights until 17 March and
  • There will be traffic lights on the A338 north of East Hanney from 18th -20th February, then
  • Traffic lights on the A338 near the Garford turning from 26th to 28th February
  • The works on Harcourt Road could continue until 20th February
  • There could be traffic lights on Ickleton Road from 19th to 21st February between Priory Road and Ham Road
  • Steventon Road in Drayton will have traffic lights from 18th to 22nd February
  • B4494 Wantage Road (near Newbury) from the A34 underpass to the Donnington Roundabout will be closed until 8 March
  • School Road (from the A4494 Newbury Road to Chieveley) will be closed from 9.30 21 February until 15.50 22 February
  • Work on the A34 at Newbury will continue until 2 March and could cause some closures
  • Also lane closures on the A34 near the Milton Interchange overnight on 18 and 19 February for litter picking.

That's enough for now. Thanks for reading.

Best wishes
Julie Mabberley

Campaign Manager
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
www.wantageandgrove.org 


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