School Bus Update

This afternoon about twenty parents and children were photographed by the Oxford Mail walking along the Wallingford Road. It was very easy to see that the narrow path and the speed of the traffic makes this a far from “safe” route as the County Council claim.

One of the parents has offered to host a website which will be a powerful tool to help organise resistance.

A long and angry letter has been sent to the Leader of the County Council from the Parish Council, copied to Ed Vaizey amongst others. A petition has been arranged – it will do the rounds, including the Jubilee celebrations on Monday. We have also arranged to meet our County Councillor, Patrick Greene after half term.


Removal of Free School Bus Travel From Cholsey to Wallingford School.

Shame on the County Council. They are planning to remove free school transport for Cholsey children living within three miles walking distance of Wallingford School.

This means eleven year olds could be walking along the Wallingford Road – a path that is less than 60cm (two feet) wide in places and may soon run parallel to a gravel pit with all its lorries. Another (BAD)decision.from our County Council.

Having run the gauntlet of the Wallingford Road they will then have to cross the by-pass – also “safe” in the early morning rush hour according to the County Council. 

I met a group of mums this evening who are very worried about this prospect. We have come up with a plan of action including a petition, a meeting with our County Councillor and encouraging people to follow the County’s appeals procedure.

Something that has really shocked me is that there are County employees working out the lengths of individual children’s distances to school – using Google Maps. That really is a job you could feel proud of.

If you can help to campaign against this very poor decision, please get in touch with me.

Youth Club AGM

A really positive meeting with great input from everyone involved.

Well done to Angela, Vicky and their extended team of volunteers.

Talking of volunteers, they are always on the lookout for more. If you are interested, I can always put you in touch….


New Bus Services for Cholsey

Click the link above to see the full timetable.

Good to see an extension to the services available to the village. There are extra buses later in the evening and NEW services on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

These services are subsidised by the developers at Fair Mile as part of their commitment to mitigate the impact of their new development. The County Council tell me there will be more buses later in the evening as Fair Mile grows.

The idea behind this is that provision of more services will lead to more users which, in time, will pay for the greater frequency of service. The subsidy can last for up to five years.

In the recent survey undertaken by the Parish Council the most desired changes were exactly what has been delivered by this new timetable.


Better Travel Links for Cholsey…

Just been to a very positive meeting about the possibilities of improving non car transport infrastructure for the village.

The really exciting thing is that there may be some money to implement some of the ideas from infrastructure monies collected by the County Council from developers.

We plan to take a huge map of the village and a questionnaire to the Jubilee celebrations to ask people for suggestions for improvements.

Keep watching this space for updates.

Winterbrook Has Its Day

Having spent much of Tuesday in my cold addled state at the EiP I am pleased to say that I felt that every issue that was discussed actually pointed to development away from Winterbrook and towards Site B. Every input by neutral parties, even those who purported to have no opinion about site selection, said directly or indirectly that development should be on B.

The only area where I felt there was some parity was on footpath access, but even with that it seems that the advantages of current rights of way and the difficulties of providing security lighting which balances with the needs of ‘wildlife corridor lighting’ swung the balance of that issue towards development on B.

We shouldn’t underestimate the importance either of SODC favouring Site B (as they have always done) as this is their plan. An issue that could have increasing importance under the government’s new planning framework.

I know that the questions asked by the inspector on Tuesday are not the be all and end all of this current saga, but let’s hope they give him the answers he needs to enable OUR council to choose the correct site for future housing in OUR area.

New Gravel Supremo at County

Many opponents of the Cholsey Gravel Pit will be pleased to hear that the new leader of the County Council has removed the holder of the Growth and Infrastructure portfolio.

Lorraine Lindsay Gayle has been replaced by Hilary Hibbert-Biles.

Let’s hope she will look more kindly on our strong arguments against the pit. At least she won’t be seen as partial to her own division, which may allow her to be a little more objective.

Sadly (or possibly fortunately) our County Council is no longer in the driving seat as any future decisions will be taken by a Government Inspector.

ALSO Don’t forget the CAGE Public Meetings on 11th and 12th June.