Witney High Street & Market Square Improvements

Oxfordshire County Council has been awarded £1.98m from the Government’s Active Travel Fund for the design and delivery  of street improvements that support and maintain the new traffic arrangement in Witney High Street and Market Square.

The funding comes from Active Travel England, but it comes with scope to improve the way the area is used as well as how residents travel through it. The improvements aim to:

  • Enhance public spaces while protecting the town’s history and character
  • Support local businesses and the market
  • Make it easier and more enjoyable to walk, wheel and cycle
  • Upgrade access to public transport
  • Improve safety for all users

Councillor Dr Ruth Smith, Leader of the Council commented;

“Councillors have held out for residents’ input into improving the High Street. It’s been a long wait but now there’s a good team in place. Now it’s important for everyone to stay positive and take part in reimagining the space so it can become a place where we want to spend time, shop, meet up and enjoy our community.”

Map of the Project Area

Map of High Street and Market Square
Map of High Street and Market Square

It runs from the roundabout at Welch Way/Wesley Walk to the War Memorial, which is a bigger scope than many imagine.

Currently, aTelRaam sensor at the Town Hall, which measures the numbers and types of traffic is helping inform the evidence for the shaping of the High Street.  You can access the data on this link https://telraam.net/en/location/9000005449

The design will be shaped by residents’ ideas

Oxfordshire County Council is seeking your views to help shape the designs for enhancements to Witney High Street and Market Square.

This is a new endeavour for Witney, so the planners need to hear about needs and hopes for how the High Street is used and experienced, so that feasible designs can take these into account.

The Project Scope

The funding was granted on the understanding that the traffic restrictions are in place. This is a project to enhance the High Street itself.

The funding is not enough to completely reshape the area but any ideas that are “too big” for this phase, will not be wasted – please feed them in; the project team have said they might possibly write them up and even get the designers on the case to store for future funding opportunities.

Full details of the project can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council website here: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/roads-and-transport/roadworks/future-transport-projects/witney-high-street

Get thinking: the online survey runs from 5 September to 3 October. And there will be in-person events too.

Public Engagement 

Online consultation is now open via this link until Tuesday 3 October. www.letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk

This is where you can view background information on the project, complete the survey and leave comments on a map of the High Street and Market Square.

Paper copies are available by calling Oxfordshire County Council Customer Services on 01865 792 422 or by emailing witneyhighstreet@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Dates for Your Diary

Saturday 9 September, Public Drop-in, 10am-4pm                 Methodist Church, Witney

Tuesday 19 September, 4pm-8pm                                                                     The Corn Exchange, Witney

In addition, engagement is also planned with your Councillors, local businesses and regarding transport and accessibility.

Witney Town Council will be holding a Council Meeting on Monday 18th September at 5.15pm to formulate its response to this consultation.

The enhancements will be designed during the Autumn. There will then be a statutory consultation on the design, expected next Spring.

Interim Features

By Christmas, Oxfordshire County Council hopes the planters will be replaced with narrowed road entrances at each end of the restricted road, and clear restriction signs. The roundabouts will be removed, with clear signs about priority directions into and out of that section of High Street. These are road safety features and do not come out of the project budget. They may be changed in the final design or may fit in well with it.



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