Briefing notes re: A417
OCC has sent the following information following a meeting to discuss problems on the A417;
A417 – Wantage to Rowstock – Work on the highway
The A417 has seen a lot of work recently, controlled by temporary traffic signals that have caused delays to vehicle journeys and generated a great deal of comment locally and on social media. I wanted to take some time to let you know a bit more about the work that is being done and the county council’s role.
There is work in Wantage by St Modwens Homes (building an 1,800 housing development) running until 29 June 2018; this is preliminary work being done by the developer on the highway to create an access. Further work affecting the highway will be required as the site develops.
There is a site at East Hendred where JA Pye Limited are building another housing development and doing associated work on the highway which includes creating an access and connecting to existing utilities. In addition, Southern Gas Networks (SGN) need to replace the existing metal gas main in order to upgrade the service to a new East Hendred development.
At West Hendred, SGN need to upgrade the existing service to ensure capacity and ensure a safe and reliable service to the villages and further afield into Wantage.
All these activities are time constrained in some way but the need to ensure safety of the gas service, meet planning conditions and ensure that those occupying new homes have a safe and reliable access are of equal importance to meeting the needs of those travelling on the network.
The county council’s role
The county council is not able to prevent developments being built and necessary work on utilities being carried out. We must therefore do what we can to mitigate any impacts on our roads and the travelling public.
As Highway Authority, Oxfordshire County Council has been working closely with the developers and the utility companies to ensure that those using the A417 are inconvenienced as little as possible.
There is a universal shared belief in ensuring the all works are completed quickly, safely and with as little disruption as possible.
Going forward we have agreed that the JA Pye works at East Hendred will finish their civil engineering works by Friday 9 March 2018. This will allow SGN to come in and upgrade their service from 12 March 2018 to 23 March 2018 (under temporary traffic signals). SGN will then move on to West Hendred (starting on 26 March 2018 for four weeks) and JA Pye can then return to East Hendred (under temporary traffic signals) to put in anti-skid road surface and complete the pedestrian crossing, aiming to complete this work within two weeks working at night.
Overall, there will be continuing disruption until end of April 2018.
Unfortunately, this will not be the end of the story here. British Telecom need to work on the highway to provide a service duct to the site at East Hendred (this will not affect the anti-skid work already completed) again under temporary lights.
Following completion of these works, other than emergency works, we are restricting any other work on A417 (until after completion of the Wantage project), to off peak working only, using strict hours of working and ensuring that utilities match up their works as far as is possible.
All those involved regret the disruption that is being caused and wish to reassure all those effected that we are all working hard to ensure that the inevitable disruption is being kept to a minimum.
12 February 2018
Source: K Stenning
Area Operations (South)
Oxfordshire County Council
Contact Centre: 0345 310 1111