The objectives of the Traffic Strategy remain to:-

             improve safety of residents of and visitors to Oxenhope

             enhance the amenity and beauty of the parish by

             limiting the growth in traffic and

        ensuring that traffic conforms to the village rather than the village to the

We put people and the environment before cars.

The village and traffic

Oxenhope was largely built as a working community of farmers, quarrymen and
millhands in an age of horse drawn transport. The Village Design Statement makes it
clear that the residents and visitors appreciate the small scale of the development and
its setting in the landscape. The narrowness of the roads and the design of the street
furniture are essential parts of the local environment.

Traffic in and through the village has increased enormously in recent years as a result
of general traffic growth and the major development of housing in the village centre. In
the heart of the village through traffic between Hebden Bridge and Keighley crosses
the path of the commuter and heavy traffic between Colne and the Leeds and
Wakefield area and the M1. While the former flow is substantial that up Denholme
Road seems even greater with over 2000 vehicles a day using the narrow road.

At the same time that they have to cope with through traffic, the roads are needed by
the local community who have increasingly resorted to their cars as their work has
moved out of the community and as the roads have become more dangerous for
walking and cycling. In addition the roads have a role in Oxenhope's business as a
leisure area. They are needed by the walkers, cyclists and horse riders, both resident
and visitors, who use the local amenities and businesses for enjoyment or daily living.

Action is clearly necessary if all these uses are to be balanced. However, in the
interests of amenity the village rejects the conventional solutions of road widening, the
demolition of roadside stone walls, the opening out of road junctions and the creation
of large scale off street car parking. We seek more limited people friendly solutions.

Key to controlling the traffic growth is the future of housing development in the area.
More will bring with it greater traffic problems as the roads are already unable to cope
at peak times. These issues were addressed in the Village Design Statement and the
Review of the Unitary Development Plan. However the planning rules have now
changed and the community will need to be alert to ensure that similar approaches are
taken in the future and development curbed.

         D1    The revised planning processes should maintain and improve the
         amenity value of Oxenhope and reject Oxenhope as a site for future major
         development on the grounds of the poor transport links to the rest of the district.


There is a need to alter the use of the roads to suit their capacity. In particular there is
a need to reduce speed and to prevent the use by heavy vehicles of roads unsuited to
their needs. Bradford Council has helped in this process with the introduction of a 20
mph limit in much of the village. More remains to be done. In particular we seek to

         S1.     extend the 20 mph speed limit on the narrow roads approaching the
         village such as Denholme Road in the Leeming area and Shaw Lane and to
         encourage their observance with rumble strips, road markings and suitable

         S2.    width restriction orders on these narrow roads.

         S3.     negotiate with the bus company to end the use of double deck buses in
         the village and their replacement with HOPPAs

The extent of the traffic makes some junctions dangerous and the scene of frequent
accidents. These need to be addressed with local solutions. The situation has been
improved by the action at Trough Lane and Muffin corner but more remains to be
done. In particular we seek

         S4.     measures to slow traffic approaching the mini roundabout at the junction
         of Station Road and Hebden Road (Muffin Corner)

         S5.   measures to improve the sight lines for traffic emerging from

         S6.    implementation of the planning requirement for Skipton Properties to
         redesign the junction between Lowertown and Denholme Road to make it safer
         for pedestrians.

         S7. to place a no through road sign on Lee Lane, rumble strips on Moorside
         Lane north of Marsh Lane and improved signs and road markings on Marsh
         Lane to reduce the risk of accidents through cars failing to stop on Marsh lane
         at the junction with Moorside Lane.

The needs of those seeking to move round the village on foot conflict with traffic and
will do so even if the measures above are implemented. It would be possible to limit
these conflicts by the creation of walking routes along existing footpaths and lightly
used roads.

       S8      the Parish Council and Bradford Council should further examine the
       feasibility of establishing safe pedestrian routes by improving local footpaths.
       The footpath from Lowertown to Back Leeming offers a low cost opportunity for
       a pedestrian alternative to Denholme Road.

Traffic growth

The growth in traffic stems in part from the lack of alternatives, in part from the
perceived lack of safety and in part from the general growth in road traffic. The
measures under "Safety" above will improve matters. However there is more that
could be done by the District Council and the Community. We wish to address several
specific problems which might further limit growth.

       Public transport: Public transport within the village is better than in much of
       rural Britain. This is much appreciated by the residents who make extensive
       use of the facilities. However they are ill adapted to the needs of the commuters
       who form an increasing part of the village community. In particular the links to
       Bradford and Halifax are indirect, infrequent and enormously time consuming.
       We therefore seek:-

       G1.    the continuation of the present level of bus services to the village

       G2. increased public transport, in the form of regular, direct, services to
       Keighley, Hebden Bridge and Bradford to serve the commuter needs, either in
       the form of buses or trains along the Worth Valley Railway.

Car parking

There persists in some parts of Bradford a view that if car parking were to cease along
the roads of Oxenhope, there would be sufficient road space for all the traffic who wish
to use the area. This would not work. Parking restrictions would merely result in more
and faster cars and more danger. However the scope for on street parking has been
almost exhausted. We therefore propose:-

       P1.    small scale off street parking for a few cars should be sought as
       planning gain from the development of sites such as Perseverance Mill.

There is also a need to address some of the car parking difficulties arising from past
planning decisions and changes in land usage:-

       P2:    the deficiency in parking for the COOP should be reduced by the
       development of the site opposite the hairdressers on Station Road for car

       P3:    tourist car parking needs to be established in Leeming on a site in
      keeping with the local landscape and the dual use of the Worth Valley overflow
      car park for tourists and railway users needs to be considered.


Oxenhope is fortunate that it has been able to retain shops and pubs in the village.
The tourism from the Worth Valley Railway is an essential part of their continuing
health. Their existence is already threatened by the difficulty of vehicular access and
would be made impossible by the type of parking restrictions seen in neighbouring
villages. There is a need to address the current problems without the need for
permanent parking restrictions. Policy P2 will provide some assistance but more is

      B1.     many of the current difficulties on Station Road stem from the peak hour
      deliveries to the COOP and the large vehicles making them. The Parish Council
      has sought to get agreement with the COOP about voluntary limits on
      deliveries. These are vital to the economic health of the area

      B3     the parking problem near the shops is exacerbated by long term parking
      by residents and employees. Their cooperation will need to be sought to refrain
      from on street parking.

      B4      if these measures are unsuccessful then consideration will be needed
      for limiting the duration of parking along that section of Station Road.


Like its predecessor this document is a list of small scale measures and policies. It
may lack grandeur but it is a strategy none the less. It is appropriate to the current
needs of a Pennine village with real traffic problems and we hope that it will make as
much difference as its precursor. It is a strategy for today and tomorrow.

Oxenhope Parish Council
17th April 2006

To top