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Abingdon Integrated Transport Strategy (ABITS)

[posted 04/11/2004]

The Abingdon Integrated Transport Strategy, which is now in its implementation phase, sets out to provide better sustainable transport in and around Abingdon. Many changes have already been set in place (new cycleways, better footpaths, improved junction of Peachcroft Road with Twelve Acre Drive, dualling of the Marcham Road). Major changes are planned for the town centre and these will have an impact on the wider area in both the short and long term. For more information, visit the following websites:


[update 08/12/2004]

Contractors Halcrow today unveiled their initial ideas for addressing transport issues in the villages around Abingdon. The Abingdon Villages Study aims to identify specific transport problems in the villages of Shippon, Sunningwell, Dry Sandford, Marcham, Radley, Wootton, Cothill and Gozzards Ford, and to put forward proposals for their mitigation. Proposals, insofar as they affect Radley, include

  • Village gateways: between Whites Lane and Twelve Acre Drive & Audlett Drive; and in the Kennington Road north of Radley College. Gateways are designed to indicate to approaching traffic that they are entering a residential area and that speeds and driving habit may have to be altered accordingly. Vehicle activated signs will be considered as a means of drawing drivers’ attentions to their speed and/or to approaching hazards. It is recognised that gateways should not detract excessively from the rural character of a place.
  • Widening of the entrance to the railway station to allow vehicles to enter and leave simultaneously.
  • Improvements to footpath 8 between Whites Lane and Twelve Acre Drive to extend its use fully to wheelchairs, invalid carriages, bicycles (subject to rights of way) as well as pedestrians. This may include widening, improving the surface and the provision of lighting.
  • The narrowness of the pavements along Foxborough Road is recognised as a key problem and possible measures to remedy this are being considered.
  • Alterations to the junction between Whites Lane, Foxborough Road and Thrupp Lane to improve sightlines and/or to reduce vehicle speeds will also be considered.

After revision to take account of issues raised in consultation with Parish Councils, a report will be presented to the County Council. The scheme will then go on public exhibition in February 2005 (see below) and, after a final revision, will be presented as a final report to the ABITS Members’ Steering Group.


[update  16/01/2005]

The public exhibition on the Abingdon Villages Study will be held at…

  • The Community Centre, Wootton on Tuesday 8th February 2005 from 2pm to 7.30pm.
  • Radley Village Hall on Wednesday 9th February 2005 from 1pm to 9pm.
  • Sunningwell Village Hall on Friday 11th February 2005 from 3pm to 9pm.

Residents and other members of the public are invited to attend to see for themselves what is being proposed, to comment, and to put forward their own ideas.


[update 04/04/2005]

Work is due to start on the town centre changes in September 2005. The first phase of the work will include installation of new signals and electrical works in preparation for making Stratton Way 2-way. New traffic signals will control traffic at the entry points to the town centre: in Ock Street, and in Bridge Street near the Crown and Thistle Hotel.Subject to land negotiations, the main Stratton Way works will begin in January 2006. This will eventually divert a significant proportion of the traffic flow from Stert Street and High Street and will allow wider pavements in these narrow streets. This, and a 20mph speed limit will hopefully make the town centre more agreeable to pedestrians.While the works are being carried out, there is expected to be significant disruption to traffic flows through and around the town. The Councils have promised to liase with local traders to try to mitigate problems.


[update 27/07/2005]

The implementation of phase 1 of the scheme is due to commence on 5th of September 2005.Details are given in the SUMMER 2005 Abits Newsletter. The planned timetable of town centre works is as follows:

Sept 05 – Nov 05 Public utilities works.
10-16 Oct 05 Abingdon Fair (no works)
Construction Phase 1
17 Oct 05 – 6 Nov 05 Stratton Way (widening of NE corner)
7 Nov 05 – 6 Jan 06 No carriageway works (Christmas)
7 Jan 06 – Feb 06 Stratton Way/Stert Street junction
Feb 06 – Mar 06 Ock Street/Stratton Way junction
Mar 06 – April 06 Bridge Street
April 06 – June 06 Stratton Way bus stops
Construction Phase 2
TBA High Street/Stert Street

[update 21/04/2007]

Phase 1 the implementation of the Abingdon Transport Scheme passed a major landmark at the end of September 2006 with the opening of Stratton Way to two way traffic (See Oxford Times 28/09/2006). However work has continued with completing the installation of the sophisticated traffic light system that is supposed automatically to control the traffic flow throughout the town, and manage traffic queues. Whether or not this is yet working to its design specifications, the traffic system has certainly come under fire, mostly from peak-time commuters crossing the town centre. This problem is perhaps exacerbated by the lack of information coming from Oxfordshire County Council (the last newsletter on the subject having been published in 2005) who is now the responsible authority, the cross-party ABITS steering group having been abolished in February 2007 (See Oxford Times 18/12/2006).However the experience of Abingdon is perhaps the inevitable result of delay, increasing traffic levels and the fact that ABITS was never expected to be the panacea that some people appear to have been expecting. Click here for a comment on the present situation, by Abingdon Transport 2000.

When the scheme was evolved, there was consensus between the political parties. The present wranglings and attempts to attribute blame to one party or another are inappropriate and unhelpful.

We now await phase 2, assuming it goes ahead, which involves the reconstruction of Stert Street and High Street to provide a more attractive and safer environment for all road users, especially those on foot. Meanwhile, the town’s market square is undergoing a much needed revamp.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/abingdon-integrated-transport-strategy-abits/