At an online meeting of Oxfordshire Council on Monday 4th May, George Lambrick, Chairman of the Rollright Trust presented its petition opposing the idea of upgrading the road at the Stones to relieve traffic in Chipping Norton and asking the Council to work with Warwickshire to reduce existing HGV and other traffic intrusion.
The Trust is concurrently submitting the petition to Warwickshire County Council, who have already objected to a minerals planning application in Oxfordshire that would increase HGV movements, exacerbating safety and heritage concerns.
Posted on the 38 Degrees website, the petition ran for just 24 days from 29th January to 21st February 2020. The total number of signatories was almost 32,000.
- All 124 UK postcode areas are represented, from 11 signatories in Shetland to over 3,000 in Oxfordshire and over 2,250 in Warwickshire.
- Over 9,700 (30%) are from the six adjacent postcode Areas.
- 1,600 are from the four immediately adjacent Districts (like Chipping Norton and Shipston-on-Stour).
On the level of support received ñ which is more than double an important recent petition presented to Parliament opposing the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway (which Oxfordshire CC itself opposes on environmental grounds) - George Lambrick commented:
We have always known that the Rollright Stones are much loved and cherished as a deeply inspiring place that is both of national importance and internationally well-known. But we are both humbled and astonished at this level of nation-wide and local support. As early as the 12th century AD the Stones were recognised as one of the Wonders of Britain along with Stonehenge and the Uffington White Horse. This amply reconfirms that status for the 21st century.
Warwickshire County Council are already sympathetic to our concerns: this should greatly strengthen their resolve to help care for the Stones; at the same time it should massively raise Oxfordshireís awareness of the importance of this very special place and the huge level of opposition to any idea of using the road as an HGV bypass for Chipping Norton, which by comparison has negligible support.
We look forward to working with the two Councils to develop a pro-active traffic calming action plan for the Stones and adjacent accident hot spots.
For more information please see the full illustrated summary of the issues, results and next steps in the saga.
Traffic calming petition (pdf 702KB)