safety eradication some significant safety concerns in the present quarry

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					Noke Parish Meeting – response to Woodeaton Quarry application

Application number MW.0015/12

Noke Parish Meeting has considered the application and has the following
response:

   1. NPM has no objection to the application. The quarry is presently in a
      dangerous state.
   2. The application, with the section 106 undertaking to no longer
      implement the existing mineral permission, comprises a major change
      from a position of very considerable uncertainty (highlighted by
      inspectors reports in 1998 and 2003) over a very long period (to 2042
      and beyond) to one of considerable certainty and control with a
      reasonably short window of about 10 years – to 2022 or 2023.
   3. The proposed restoration has significant benefits to:
         a. landscape values (views from the boundaries of the quarry are
              outstanding)
         b. biodiversity (the proposed restoration scheme is exemplary in
              adding an important degree of biodiversity, and protects the
              SSSI areas)
         c. education (with the famous fossil-bearing layers available for
              study)
         d. safety (eradication some significant safety concerns in the
              present quarry)
         e. protection of the adjoining temple field from possible erosion.
              The temple field is rich in archaeology, as shown by a
              geophysical survey performed by Oxford Archaeotechnics in
              2000. The temple field is also important in the history of
              archaeology, as well as being a scheduled ancient monument.
   4. The PM notes that the dust plan specifies that the applicants will “adopt
      management systems that will respond effectively to complaints or in the
      event that monitoring shows that controls are not effectively addressing
      sources of dust”. This is to be welcomed, and provides a degree of
      comfort that levels of dust and mud-affected roads will not be the
      problem seen with previous activity at the quarry.
   5. The PM notes that while the noise assessment is favourable, and that
      mitigation proposals have been put in place for plant operating over
      higher ground, no management system to respond effectively to
      complaints or monitoring is in being, as is the case for dust. Noke PM
      suggests that a noise management plan be agreed as a condition.

Effects on traffic

The largest problem arising from the application is that of traffic. This is a
more complicated issue, as responsibilities are divided, mainly between the



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applicant and Oxfordshire Highways, but to some extent to Thames Valley
Police. While the applicant can take some mitigating actions, more
responsibility falls to OH and TVP.

      The application envisages a daily average of 10 lorry movements into
       and out of the north entrance of the quarry, complying with an
       agreement made in 1989.
      A worst-case scenario is envisaged as 50 lorry movements a day, five
       times the average.
      The hours of opening of the site would be 07:00 – 18:00 Monday to
       Friday, and 07:00 – 13:00 on Saturday. The applicant made the point at
       a public meeting in Noke that these hours applied to the site, and
       vehicle movements would be unlikely before about 8:00 am (lorries are
       not left loaded overnight), and would be completed well before the
       end of the working day at the site.
      The applicant has a core of employed drivers of long standing,
       together with a small number of contracted drivers, also of long
       standing.
      The traffic analysis indicates that the average number of working day
       movements (07:00 – 19:00) is 6,444. An additional 20 movements (10
       lorries one journey in and one journey out) would make a small impact
       (0.3%) and even the worst-case scenario would be only 1.6%.
      However, the number of goods vehicles is much smaller, only about
       5% of the total, with 07:00 – 19:00 averages of 290 movements. This
       means that the proposed movements would increase heavy good
       traffic by a much greater amount, with the average producing a 7%
       increase and the worst-case scenario a 34% increase in heavy good
       vehicles.
      This definition included OGV1 and OGV2 (see below for definitions),
       in effect any vehicle of over 3.5 tonnes with two or three axles. Few will
       be lorries with 20-tonne loads. The impact will be even greater than the
       proportional figures.
      The traffic report indicates that average speeds on the B4027 near the
       northern entrance average 50 mph (the current speed limit). Around 1
       in 7 vehicles travels at 55 mph or higher, and 1 in 30 or so in excess of
       60 mph (with some extraordinarily high speeds in the early hours of
       the morning).
      The B4027 between Islip and the Bayswater Road junction has a
       number of overgrown hedges, which restrict vision considerably.
      The B4027 is heavily used by cyclists, especially at weekends, and by
       pedestrians who use it to join between footpaths. It is also occasionally
       used by horse riders.

Mitigation measures

Several measures should be considered to mitigate potential problems.


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   A. Recognise that the applicant’s drivers might adopt a voluntary 40 mph
      limit on the B4027. The applicant indicated that speeds higher than this
      would be unusual given the nature of vehicle and road.
   B. Recognise that improved sight lines at entrances are needed. This
      includes better splay to the south from the haul road entrance on the
      B4027, where sightlines are obscured by excess hedge growth beyond
      the field boundary. Other entrances and junctions need sightlines
      managed by limiting width and height of hedges or growth on the
      road verge beyond property boundaries.
   C. Implement significant removal of growth on the road verges. There are
      many places where the hedge grows to the limit of the road, removing
      any verge refuge for walkers or other non-vehicular use. For example,
      the short section between the Prattle Lane junction with the B4027 at
      the Woodeaton turn and the Noke junction has several sections where
      walkers have nowhere to go when vehicles refuse to slow down. The
      aim of the plan should be to maintain a 2-metre growth-free verge
      where possible. This should be a matter discussed by the applicant
      and Oxfordshire Highways, and could be a condition of any consent.
   D. Oxfordshire Highways might wish to discuss with Thames Valley
      Police the occasional use of mobile radar as a way of discouraging
      excess speed on the B4027. This is done on the B4027 in the 30 mph
      sections in Stanton St John and on the Bayswater Road. It is also
      needed on the higher speed sections between Islip and the Beckley
      turn.
   E. A particular concern is traffic on Saturday mornings, when large
      numbers of cyclists and leisure users frequent the B4027. Movements
      in excess of the average would not be welcome. A condition should be
      set limiting the number of vehicles movements to the site on
      Saturdays to a maximum of perhaps 10 movements.




Definitions:

OGV1: includes all rigid vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight with
two or three axles (it also includes larger ambulances, tractors - without
trailers, road rollers for tarmac pressing, box vans and similar large vans. A
two or three axle motor tractive unit without a trailer is also included.

OGV2: includes all rigid vehicles with four or more axles and all articulated
vehicles. Also included in this class are OGV1 goods vehicles towing a
caravan or trailer.




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posted:9/14/2012
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