Plans for school in Cowley spark traffic concerns

Oxford Mail: Georgina Timbs, right, and Lesley Brown look at the plans Buy this photo Georgina Timbs, right, and Lesley Brown look at the plans

RESIDENTS living near the site of a proposed new school in Cowley have raised concerns about potential traffic problems. The Tyndale Community School has been given Government backing and is hoping to open at the former Lord Nuffield Club in Barracks Lane in September 2013.

Part of the site, unused for the past three years, would also be developed for housing.

Public consultation meetings are being held this month and next to discuss the proposal. Nearly 100 people came to a meeting at the club on Tuesday to meet the developers, the team behind the school and to find out more.

Among them was Georgina Timbs, who lives in Normandy Crescent and is a school secretary at St Francis Primary School in Horspath Road.

She said: “I disagree with the school being put there because I don’t think it’s the right site and I definitely disagree with housing being built because it’s overbuilt anyway.”

She described existing traffic problems on Hollow Way, the main road which Barracks Lane adjoins, as “a nightmare” and said she would rather see money spent on expanding the oversubscribed local schools.

The school is being proposed by Chapel Street Community Schools Trust, with Oxford Community Church part of the group behind the plans.

Chairman of governors Steve Jones said there was no one consensus in favour or against the planned school at the meeting.

He said: “We heard quite a range of different views, different concerns and actually quite a lot of excitement about the building, which is currently unused so some residents were glad to see it getting used and being redeveloped as a vibrant community hub.

“The thing that came out loud and clear was concern about traffic which we already knew was something we would need to pay really close attention to so that wasn’t a surprise.”

Another meeting is set to be held at the club before Christmas about specifics relating to the site, while further meetings are planned about the education aspects of the proposal.

  • They will be held at Oxford Spires Academy, Glanville Road, on Friday, November 23 and Thursday, December 6 at 7.30pm.

Comments (11)

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9:25pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Christine Hovis says...

The problem with this comment:

"She described existing traffic problems on Hollow Way, the main road which Barracks Lane adjoins, as “a nightmare” and said she would rather see money spent on expanding the oversubscribed local schools."

Is that it's not obvious that local schools can be expanded, and that they in turn will have further traffic problems.

We wait to see what the educational offering is from Chapel Street Community Schools Trust. Hopefully if it remains within the bounds of sense, i.e. no creationism, then it will make a very useful contribution to meeting the school place needs of East Oxford. Much better to have the County provide it, but their planning has been so awful that it's good to see someone getting on with a new school.
The problem with this comment: "She described existing traffic problems on Hollow Way, the main road which Barracks Lane adjoins, as “a nightmare” and said she would rather see money spent on expanding the oversubscribed local schools." Is that it's not obvious that local schools can be expanded, and that they in turn will have further traffic problems. We wait to see what the educational offering is from Chapel Street Community Schools Trust. Hopefully if it remains within the bounds of sense, i.e. no creationism, then it will make a very useful contribution to meeting the school place needs of East Oxford. Much better to have the County provide it, but their planning has been so awful that it's good to see someone getting on with a new school. Christine Hovis
  • Score: 1

9:11am Tue 13 Nov 12

cb1917 says...

Let us not forget that as a so-called 'free' school it will not have to employ qualified teachers, nor will it have to comply to existing building regulations for maintained schools. The statutory size of class rooms and number of toilets has just been reduced by the Con-Dem government, nor will the new school building have to have a staffroom for its employees.
All this is before concerns about the nature of the curriculum it is going to offer and the overtly religious nature of the establishment. Oh and before I forget the education secretary is pushing for such schools to be able to be run for profit and as all Ox Mail readers know, I am sure, the profit motive has consistently shown itself to be the most efficient way of meeting individual and community needs ... .
Let us not forget that as a so-called 'free' school it will not have to employ qualified teachers, nor will it have to comply to existing building regulations for maintained schools. The statutory size of class rooms and number of toilets has just been reduced by the Con-Dem government, nor will the new school building have to have a staffroom for its employees. All this is before concerns about the nature of the curriculum it is going to offer and the overtly religious nature of the establishment. Oh and before I forget the education secretary is pushing for such schools to be able to be run for profit and as all Ox Mail readers know, I am sure, the profit motive has consistently shown itself to be the most efficient way of meeting individual and community needs ... [war, banking crisis, unemployment etc]. cb1917
  • Score: 2

8:54pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

cb1917 wrote:
Let us not forget that as a so-called 'free' school it will not have to employ qualified teachers, nor will it have to comply to existing building regulations for maintained schools. The statutory size of class rooms and number of toilets has just been reduced by the Con-Dem government, nor will the new school building have to have a staffroom for its employees.
All this is before concerns about the nature of the curriculum it is going to offer and the overtly religious nature of the establishment. Oh and before I forget the education secretary is pushing for such schools to be able to be run for profit and as all Ox Mail readers know, I am sure, the profit motive has consistently shown itself to be the most efficient way of meeting individual and community needs ... .
Well it's hardly a surprise it won't have to comply with the *current* legislation - as the current legislation will be out of date when the 2012 legislation comes into force.

Surely classrooms should be designed to fit the number of students in the class? With the reduction in class sizes, it would hardly be eco-friendly to heat and light a room big enough for 36 pupils when there are only 20 or so in the class. I believe the lavatory volumes are recommendations rather than an instructions.

I'm with you on religion. It should be absolutely forbidden in schools - that's a duty of the parents to take the children to their preferred outlet.

It is best for most businesses to operate with a profit and schools and charities to operate witha surplus. It would be an odd organisation to aspire to make a loss.

Isn't the mere action of seeking employment a desire to make a profit from your endeavour?
[quote][p][bold]cb1917[/bold] wrote: Let us not forget that as a so-called 'free' school it will not have to employ qualified teachers, nor will it have to comply to existing building regulations for maintained schools. The statutory size of class rooms and number of toilets has just been reduced by the Con-Dem government, nor will the new school building have to have a staffroom for its employees. All this is before concerns about the nature of the curriculum it is going to offer and the overtly religious nature of the establishment. Oh and before I forget the education secretary is pushing for such schools to be able to be run for profit and as all Ox Mail readers know, I am sure, the profit motive has consistently shown itself to be the most efficient way of meeting individual and community needs ... [war, banking crisis, unemployment etc].[/p][/quote]Well it's hardly a surprise it won't have to comply with the *current* legislation - as the current legislation will be out of date when the 2012 legislation comes into force. Surely classrooms should be designed to fit the number of students in the class? With the reduction in class sizes, it would hardly be eco-friendly to heat and light a room big enough for 36 pupils when there are only 20 or so in the class. I believe the lavatory volumes are recommendations rather than an instructions. I'm with you on religion. It should be absolutely forbidden in schools - that's a duty of the parents to take the children to their preferred outlet. It is best for most businesses to operate with a profit and schools and charities to operate witha surplus. It would be an odd organisation to aspire to make a loss. Isn't the mere action of seeking employment a desire to make a profit from your endeavour? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

9:35am Wed 14 Nov 12

Joe Chapman says...

Hi

I was at this meeting and I am a neighbour of The Lord Nuffield Club which is directly next to my land. My house is sandwiched between Hollow Way and the site of the proposed school. I am also a former pupil of St. Francis school.

There was definitely a strong view from everyone I heard from at the meeting and the local community appear to be opposed to any development.

Furthermore Tyndale School have badly messed up the meetings. The meetings at spires Academy aren't specifically to do with the development they are just to do with the school, wherever it is based.

Yesterday I did a short traffic survey on the way home along Hollow Way, there was congestion down one side involving 72 vehicles. Right from Garsington Road up to Barracks Lane.

I have set up a blog, Facebook page, Twitter and Gmail for a campaign. I have also contacted Tyndale School about meetings and they have admitted problems and provided further information.

I have word that the city council are against the development if the site but it needs further investigation.

Sorry but links don't work here but please search for Save The Lord Nuffield Club wordpress, I have collated a lot of information including maps, videos and risk assessments. I'd like to talk to people about the issue. we have not been given a new date for a meeting at the club.
Hi I was at this meeting and I am a neighbour of The Lord Nuffield Club which is directly next to my land. My house is sandwiched between Hollow Way and the site of the proposed school. I am also a former pupil of St. Francis school. There was definitely a strong view from everyone I heard from at the meeting and the local community appear to be opposed to any development. Furthermore Tyndale School have badly messed up the meetings. The meetings at spires Academy aren't specifically to do with the development they are just to do with the school, wherever it is based. Yesterday I did a short traffic survey on the way home along Hollow Way, there was congestion down one side involving 72 vehicles. Right from Garsington Road up to Barracks Lane. I have set up a blog, Facebook page, Twitter and Gmail for a campaign. I have also contacted Tyndale School about meetings and they have admitted problems and provided further information. I have word that the city council are against the development if the site but it needs further investigation. Sorry but links don't work here but please search for Save The Lord Nuffield Club wordpress, I have collated a lot of information including maps, videos and risk assessments. I'd like to talk to people about the issue. we have not been given a new date for a meeting at the club. Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

9:40am Wed 14 Nov 12

Joe Chapman says...

On the grounds of good sense, Christian values and what is right for the immediate community, the development must be withdrawn immediately. We can spare us all the bureaucracy and nightmare of a campaign. The school have other sites in mind and already have a building in Oxford. Georgina is right, it is a nightmare and it will get worse if this development goes ahead. Please don't do it.
On the grounds of good sense, Christian values and what is right for the immediate community, the development must be withdrawn immediately. We can spare us all the bureaucracy and nightmare of a campaign. The school have other sites in mind and already have a building in Oxford. Georgina is right, it is a nightmare and it will get worse if this development goes ahead. Please don't do it. Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

9:47am Wed 14 Nov 12

Joe Chapman says...

Dear Christine Hovis,

The catchment area for the proposed school is Oxford, not just the immediate surrounding area. It doesn't matter what the curriculum will be, the development not just the school cannot be sustained by the local community and road infrastructure. Not without damaging our community further. The risks to us are too great and likely to occur. Furthermore this is not just Chapel St involved, it is Oxfordshire Community Churches which is part of The Evangelical Alliance. If you are unsure what that means then please look them up.
Dear Christine Hovis, The catchment area for the proposed school is Oxford, not just the immediate surrounding area. It doesn't matter what the curriculum will be, the development not just the school cannot be sustained by the local community and road infrastructure. Not without damaging our community further. The risks to us are too great and likely to occur. Furthermore this is not just Chapel St involved, it is Oxfordshire Community Churches which is part of The Evangelical Alliance. If you are unsure what that means then please look them up. Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

9:54am Wed 14 Nov 12

Joe Chapman says...

I am willing to pay for leaflets, create them and deliver them to the local community. I am also willing to set up a petition for full council meeting, put in a Freedom of Information request, contact relevant people etc but could do with some help.
I am willing to pay for leaflets, create them and deliver them to the local community. I am also willing to set up a petition for full council meeting, put in a Freedom of Information request, contact relevant people etc but could do with some help. Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

10:16am Wed 14 Nov 12

Joe Chapman says...

Whilst it may be true that East Oxford needs school places, even if East Oxford needed 400 places, the local community doesn't. These would be primary school children therefore it is highly likely that only those children living in the immediate area would walk to school. So if there are only 60 places needed in the immediate area that means there would be around 340 places needed from outside and not within walking distance. Therefore the majority of pupils attending the school would not be walking or cycling in. They will be coming in via car or public transport placing pressure on an infrastructure that is already not coping as it is.
Whilst it may be true that East Oxford needs school places, even if East Oxford needed 400 places, the local community doesn't. These would be primary school children therefore it is highly likely that only those children living in the immediate area would walk to school. So if there are only 60 places needed in the immediate area that means there would be around 340 places needed from outside and not within walking distance. Therefore the majority of pupils attending the school would not be walking or cycling in. They will be coming in via car or public transport placing pressure on an infrastructure that is already not coping as it is. Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

10:29am Wed 14 Nov 12

Joe Chapman says...

In the interests of accountability and transparency here's some further information from the blog regarding meetings.


Following the unannounced cancellations of 2 public meeting dates and the telephone automated message giving 2 other dates, Tyndale Community School have now posted an update on Facebook.

“Sorry. This is a failure of communication on our part. We shifted the dates back to allow more time for people to hear about them. The next public meeting will be at Oxford Spires Academy on Fri 23 Nov, and then again on Thu 6 Dec.”


We now have had 3 sets of different dates been given to us. No times for the meetings have been announced yet. Please note the change of venue from the Lord Nuffield Club, which is at the heart of this matter, to the “Oxford Spires Academy”, a newly made Academy School further down nearer to Cowley Road.

Update
A new message from Tyndale Community School follows:

“Hi Joe, Our answer phone message is plain wrong! We will sort it out today. The meetings will be at 7.30pm. One meeting has taken place at the Lord Nuffield Club already (on 6 Nov), and another is being planned (date TBC), but these are focused on the overall plans for the development of the site, including the developers’ plans for housing. Any meeting that takes place there is going to focus on the several uses of the overall site, not simply on the school proposal.”
In the interests of accountability and transparency here's some further information from the blog regarding meetings. Following the unannounced cancellations of 2 public meeting dates and the telephone automated message giving 2 other dates, Tyndale Community School have now posted an update on Facebook. “Sorry. This is a failure of communication on our part. We shifted the dates back to allow more time for people to hear about them. The next public meeting will be at Oxford Spires Academy on Fri 23 Nov, and then again on Thu 6 Dec.” We now have had 3 sets of different dates been given to us. No times for the meetings have been announced yet. Please note the change of venue from the Lord Nuffield Club, which is at the heart of this matter, to the “Oxford Spires Academy”, a newly made Academy School further down nearer to Cowley Road. Update A new message from Tyndale Community School follows: “Hi Joe, Our answer phone message is plain wrong! We will sort it out today. The meetings will be at 7.30pm. One meeting has taken place at the Lord Nuffield Club already (on 6 Nov), and another is being planned (date TBC), but these are focused on the overall plans for the development of the site, including the developers’ plans for housing. Any meeting that takes place there is going to focus on the several uses of the overall site, not simply on the school proposal.” Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

11:25am Wed 14 Nov 12

Joe Chapman says...

“The thing that came out loud and clear was concern about traffic which we already knew was something we would need to pay really close attention to so that wasn’t a surprise.”

Please provide evidence of what you have found whilst paying close attention to the traffic risks. I'd like to see your assessment of the situation.
“The thing that came out loud and clear was concern about traffic which we already knew was something we would need to pay really close attention to so that wasn’t a surprise.” Please provide evidence of what you have found whilst paying close attention to the traffic risks. I'd like to see your assessment of the situation. Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

10:31am Fri 16 Nov 12

Basilisk says...

I too live on Hollow Way close to the LNC and I utterly agree with what Joe Chapman has been saying here and elsewhere.
Think of the Cowley Classic Car Show at the LNC a few years back. The result was total gridlock, not just in Barracks Lane and Hollow Way but throughout east Oxford. No-one, other than perhaps the local community, foresaw it.
No-one seems to know just what tipped the scales so dramatically. Maybe the increased volume of traffic, or maybe the disruption caused to the normal flow along Hollow Way by the number of vehicles exiting from Barracks Lane. Whatever the cause, it was a bridge too far.
Bearing in mind Joe's comment (14th Nov 10:16), even just 200 cars doing the school run would total 800 daily traffic movements concentrated during peak times on Hollow Way. Who's to say if this will not tip the scales towards chaos in east Oxford again? Not just once, but potentially every weekday, twice a day.
I too live on Hollow Way close to the LNC and I utterly agree with what Joe Chapman has been saying here and elsewhere. Think of the Cowley Classic Car Show at the LNC a few years back. The result was total gridlock, not just in Barracks Lane and Hollow Way but throughout east Oxford. No-one, other than perhaps the local community, foresaw it. No-one seems to know just what tipped the scales so dramatically. Maybe the increased volume of traffic, or maybe the disruption caused to the normal flow along Hollow Way by the number of vehicles exiting from Barracks Lane. Whatever the cause, it was a bridge too far. Bearing in mind Joe's comment (14th Nov 10:16), even just 200 cars doing the school run would total 800 daily traffic movements concentrated during peak times on Hollow Way. Who's to say if this will not tip the scales towards chaos in east Oxford again? Not just once, but potentially every weekday, twice a day. Basilisk
  • Score: 0

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