WANTAGE & GROVE ACTIVE TRAVEL

Projects to enable our community

How We Work

We work by engaging with key local stakeholders, including Councillors and officers of Oxfordshire County Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, Wantage Town Council and Grove Parish Council, as well as with other interested parties. In particular, we are creating strong links with the lead developers of the Kingsgrove and Wellington Gate housing developments, local schools and other community groups. We offer guidance and support as well as expert advice on active travel initiatives as well as commenting on local planning applications where appropriate. We reference and emphasise recent best practice in national standards and publications such as Gear Change and LTN 1/20 and challenge our partners to comply with these. We work to raise the profile of active travel modes of transport and to normalise the use of cycling, wheeling and walking in short local journeys. We also support and publicise public transport initiatives and encourage higher usage, particularly of local buses. We champion the travel needs of the elderly, the less able and families.

List of current projects

 

Please click on the arrow pointing down to show more information about that project.

SIGNPOSTING PROJECT

We have prepared plans to signpost routes suitable for walking, cycling and mobility scooters between key places in Wantage and Grove.

Why do we want more signposts?

Signposts especially for ‘active travel’ are really helpful.  Road signs often don’t point along the best routes, particularly not for walking nor wheeling.  And road signs don’t show how long a journey might take, something which we know people walking, cycling or wheeling find very useful.  And signposting for active travel is a ‘quick win’ – we can go ahead now and signpost existing routes – rather than waiting a long time for paths to be upgraded or for new routes to be built.

Where will they be?

We’ve worked out selected routes, suitable for signposting now, to key places around Wantage & Grove.  View Map Here

What will they look like?

The new signs will show estimated journey times, rather than distances.

What’s happening now?

Both Wantage Town Council and Grove Parish Council are helping with this project, and the signposts will be to ‘proper’ County Council standards.  We’re working to minimise any ‘clutter’ often associated with street furniture.  Funding has been earmarked for the new signposts, and we hope to see signs starting to appear in the near future.  If you have any questions, suggestions or comments for the signposting project, please contact us BELOW

 

INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN (LCWIP)

We’re part of the project to publish an official ‘Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan’ (LCWIP) for Wantage and Grove.

What is the ‘LCWIP’?

The LCWIP will provide the specific local details of where we want to develop proper safe routes for walking, cycling and wheeling. LCWIPs are being produced for every town in England and Wales. The Wantage & Grove LCWIP project is being run by the County Council.

Why is it important?

Once we have the LCWIP approved, any funding opportunities can be quickly allocated to priority local projects. A typical example might be getting a ‘missing link’ path built, making it possible to safely and easily walk, cycle or wheel into town.

What’s happening now?

The County Council will employ a consultant to draw up the LCWIP during 2024. We’re taking part in the Council’s LCWIP ‘Steering Group’ which will provide the information the consultant needs. This means we’ll be inputting our local knowledge and experience, and we’ll be proposing options and priorities for the finished LCWIP. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for the LCWIP, please contact us BELOW

SURVEYS

 

We are keen to get the views of as many local people as possible on how they currently deal with local journeys and what they would like to see changes.

What have we done?

In September 2023 we ran our first survey. We were pleased with the response with several hundred of you taking the time to complete the survey. The main findings show that we are a pretty typical market town in terms of travel choices for short journeys – a car is used for about 50% of these, but we also see about 30% walking and 15% cycling. Many of you told us you would like to use the car less and walk or cycle more, but are put off by concerns arounds safety and convenience. This all helps us in working for better infrastructure.

What happens next?

Watch this space for a presentation of the key findings, and we plan to run a similar survey in the next year or two to assess trends.

WELLINGTON GATE

Wellington Gate is a large housing development on a former airfield at Grove that is currently under construction in a number of phases.

Why are we involved?

Wellington Gate is a very large development (totalling around 2,500 houses). It includes much active travel infrastructure both within the development and with links to the rest of Grove and Wantage.

How are we involved?

We attend the quarterly meetings of the Grove Airfield Development Forum which comprises the developer, local councillors, planners and other stakeholders. This enables us to comment on active travel issues arising before, during and after the construction. We also attend the monthly residents meeting where we can both pick up on active travel issues and provide guidance on routes to local facilities etc.

Although the outline planning was approved in 2012 there are separate, more detailed, planning applications submitted for each phase. We comment on these focusing on aspects relating to active travel such as road crossings, cycle/shared paths etc. We also comment similarly on planning applications for other significant developments in Grove such as the Monk’s Farm development.

What is happening now?

Examples of issues that we have raised include cycle lanes not meeting current standards for width, lack of road crossing near schools and chasing active travel improvements listed in the Section 106 agreements.

KINGSGROVE [CRAB HILL]

Kingsgrove (or Crab Hill) is the large new housing development on the north-eastern edge of Wantage. We’ve been working with the local councils, the developers, and the residents’ group to highlight issues affecting walking, cycling and wheeling.

Why are we involved?

Housing developments are notorious for being built ‘in isolation’. Facilities for walking, cycling and wheeling can be excellent within the development, but links to the surrounding areas can be poor.  Kingsgrove is better than many – for example the main roads within Kingsgrove have proper cycle lanes. But we’d like to see much better connections towards the town centre, and into the surrounding areas.

How are we involved?

We’re members of the Crab Hill Development Forum, where key stakeholders meet every three months to discuss issues and concerns.

What’s happening now?

We’re really pushing the case for better links into town. Funding has been allocated, but we want to see this happen quickly. And we’re lobbying to improve the hazardous crossing at the new Reading Road roundabout.

SCHOOLS

We think that our local schools are really important in all this work – we want to make it easier and safer for students, parents and staff to get to and from school by walking, cycling or wheeling.

What have we done?

We have engaged with local schools (King Alfred’s Academy secondary and many primaries) to assist with the production of travel plans and to raise awareness of active travel options for students and staff. There is strong support from school Heads (and from the Vale Academy Trust team who oversee many of the local schools) for better travel options, particularly for students to get to and from school without the need for cars. We are making sure this feedback is given to the local Councils and to the local developers.

LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Although there is a lot more to do, the local area does have some good examples of existing active travel infrastructure. One example is the separated path alongside the A338 between Wantage & Grove. It is also interesting that many of the older developments in Wantage & Grove incorporate good design in avoiding rat runs and providing paths and cut-throughs for walking and cycling.

What are we doing?

We have spent some time identifying a list of these good examples and we lobby for their protection and improvement. We are also lobbying for the construction of new active travel infrastructure. Examples include a north-south route through Willow Walk Nature Reserve and a route between Grove playing fields and Mably Way Health Centre.

EVENTS

We want to make ourselves visible and available to the public so that we can answer questions and give advice. We do this through attendance at local events like Wantage Carnival, Wellington Gate Community Fairs, Grove Extravaganzas and Harwell Campus Green Week.

MAPS

 

We’re developing maps to help with our various projects.  These are being updated all the time, and include:

Interactive Map [link coming soon]

You can use this map to tell us about specific issues or make suggestions.  (Or contact us BELOW) Existing Routes for Signposting [link coming soon] This shows the existing routes where we want to add signposts.

Aspirational Routes Map [link coming soon]

This shows our vision for a proper active travel network in Wantage & Grove.  As used for LCWIP Project.

Individual Route Maps [links coming soon]

We have used these to try-out routes for the Signposting Project.  We want to update these maps into ‘Handy Guides’ [links to come]