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Successful Parish Boundary Walk

After two years when the rain caused the Annual Parish Boundary Walk to be abandoned. This years walk went ahead successfully. Thirty walkers left the oak tree on Forest Hill just before 10.15 yesterday, Sunday 27 April.
At the start of the Saltway on Woodstock Rd we were joined by, among others, our Vicar, Rev Judy French and Her Assistant Priest, Jan Fielden who accompanied the party to the lunch stop at Ditchley Model Farm. There we were joined by a number of others who had walked or driven out via Ditchley Rd.
Folowing lunch Judy led a short service for Rogation Sunday then she and Jan accompanied the group for part of afternoon section. Jan leaving us at Enstone Rd and Judy continuing as far ths the crossing of Spelsbuty Rd.
The remainder continued alonside the Taston and Coldron brooks to the Oxfordshire Way from we headed back to Millfield and reached Dyers Hill about 4.30. The weather, despite the rain which had looked in prospect 24 hours before, was just about perfect. Whether this was due to the presence of two meteorologists in the party or the presence of four ordained Ministers at lunchtime is open to debate - perhaps honours are even!

Tony Graeme · Mon 28 Apr 2008, 18:41 · Link


Charlbury WOW: access work completed

Cotswold Voluntary Wardens have completed work to improve disabled and buggy access to the meadow adjoining the Ticknell Piece Play Area and Centenary Wood. This is part of ‘Walks On Wheels’ (WOW) a project to list a number of short walks throughout the Cotswolds AONB suitable for buggies and wheelchair users, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the inauguration of the Warden Service in 1968. The work has included installing a new wheelchair gate with RADAR lock from the Bowls Club car park, improvements to surfacing and, construction of a new ‘wheelchair friendly' path to/from the kissing gate above the play area. The work has gone ahead with the support of Charlbury Town Council, and OCC and made possible by a grant from The Trust for Oxfordshire Environment (TOE).
‘Walks On Wheels’ will be formally launched at Badmintion on May 23rd but meanwhile details of all the walks are available on the Cotswolds AONB website at www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/page.asp?pageID=44

Tony Graeme · Sat 19 Apr 2008, 12:56 · Link


Gardeners World

Charlbury Station was featured on Gardeners World,
Friday 18th April. It can be viewd again on BBC i player for the next 6 days.
www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/b009xpjw.shtml?filter=txdate%3A18-04&filter=txslot%3Aevening&start=2&scope=iplayerlast7days&version_pid=b009xphb

Julie Negus · Sat 19 Apr 2008, 08:55 · Link


Laura Finch's London Marathon run for Leukaemia

To all of you who so kindly sponsored Laura, you will be pleased to hear that she completed the London Marathon yesterday, despite the pouring rain, wind etc. If anyone else would still like to sponsor her, the link is www.bmycharity.com/laurafinch. Thanks again.

Susie Finch · Tue 15 Apr 2008, 06:58 · Link


Wifi plan for bus service linking Charlbury


From the Oxford Mail

Passengers on a bus service in west Oxfordshire will be able to use free Wifi on their journeys within a couple of months.

Stagecoach is to introduce the system on a new fleet of seven Alexander-Dennis Enviro double-decker buses based at Chipping Norton, on the No 20 route to Oxford.

Wifi allows laptop computer users - and some mobile phones - to connect to the Internet without a cable connection.
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It has already been available for about a year on the company's Oxford Tube coach service to London.

Chris Child, Stagecoach spokesman, said: "It's part of a package of improvements on the 20 and 20A service, linking Oxford, Woodstock, Charlbury and Chipping Norton. We carried out feedback with our customers and there are also to be some timetable changes."

5:08pm Sunday 13th April 2008

Igor Goldkind · Mon 14 Apr 2008, 01:24 · Link


Candidates for council elections, 1st May

The Town and DIstrict council candidates are as follows.

District Council (one seat from two up for re-election):

  • Glena Chadwick (LibDem), Charlbury (incumbent)
  • Gillian Hill (Conservative), Asthall Leigh

Town Council (all 12 seats up for re-election):

  • Helen Elizabeth Bessemer-Clark
  • Ian Douglas Cox (incumbent)
  • Susanna Finch (incumbent)
  • Willem Dirk Hackmann (incumbent)
  • John Stanley Harrison (incumbent)
  • Carolyn Robin Hazeel (incumbent)
  • Reginald Edward James (incumbent)
  • Jennifer Nicolette Lethbridge (incumbent)
  • John Gareth Miller
  • Valerie Anne Christine Pakenham-Walsh
  • Patricia Perry (incumbent)
  • Robert Nicholas Potter (incumbent)
  • Ronald Sidney Prew (incumbent)
  • Elizabeth Frances Reason
  • Stephen Gilbert Michael Vaux

(Current councillors Amanda Epps and Trevor Jones are not standing again.)

Richard Fairhurst · Sun 6 Apr 2008, 00:15 · Link


Redoubling proposal for Cotswold Line announced at meeting in Charlbury

A brief report on last night’s meeting with FGW for those who were unable to attend.

The meeting, chaired by David Cameron, was attended by Andrew Haines, Mike Carroll and Richard Rowland from FGW, Dave Ward (Route Director, Network Rail) and about 50 members of the public.

AH was the first to address the meeting. The points he raised are as follows:

• FGW appreciate that there are lots of problems on the Cotswold Line (CL) and they are not in denial about this.
• 50% of FGW directors have joined the company in the last 6 months.
• Reliable trains are the number one priority, followed by reliable information and adequate capacity.
• The cancellation rate is currently half what it was 1 year ago.
• A customer information system (CIS) will be installed soon at a cost of £20-30 million.
• £5 million has been set aside to refresh the Turbo fleet.
• Compensation for delays/cancellations has been doubled.

MC updated the audience on progress since the January meeting:

• In the 4 weeks prior to the last meeting, 61% of CL trains were on time. The latest figure is 79%. This still makes the CL the worst-performing FGW route.
• Punctuality and performance are crucial.
• Trains serving Charlbury are being monitored and substantial improvements have been noted.
• A key task now is removing “irritants”, e.g. problems with stowing bikes and CISs that are invisible when the sun shines.

DW then addressed the meeting, principally with regard to the proposed redoubling of the CL:

• The latest plan is to redouble 20 miles of track between Evesham and about 1 mile west of Oxford. This scheme should provide 95% of the benefits required for about one-third the cost of complete redoubling.
• The Department of Transport have the final say and a decision from the regulator is expected in the first week of June.
• If the scheme is approved, work should begin in Jan 2009 with completion expected by May 2010. An hourly service on the CL would be possible with this scheme.
• Network Rail are very much behind the scheme but vigorous lobbying from passengers will be needed to get it through. DC said that he would be writing to all MPs whose constituencies include part of the CL to enlist their support.

DC then asked for questions from the floor. A few points that arose from the Q&A session are as follows:

• Standard class carriages will be platformed from 18 May.
• A major staff training programme will take place shortly (some staff have had no training for many years apparently!).
• In general, freight trains are not give preference over passenger services.
• Network Rail will look into the possibility of increasing car parking at Charlbury to coincide with the redoubling scheme.

More on the redoubling proposal can be found in today's Oxford Mail: www.oxfordmail.net/news/yourtown/oxford/display.var.2172240.0.rail_improvements_on_track.php#comments

Derek Collett · Sat 5 Apr 2008, 16:19 · Link


Town Council Election 1 May 2008

There will be 15 candidates for the 12 places on the Town Council which is good news for democracy in a town which has probably had an election every four years until 2004 when sadly there were only 9 candidates. The first parish council election here had the first woman candidate in the County. So Douglas Hurd was right when he described us as radical!

Amanda Epps · Sat 5 Apr 2008, 12:20 · Link


Extra evening bus from Oxford

Since Monday 31 March 2008, Stagecoach has put on an extra evening bus back from Oxford at 21:45 arriving 22:35. The last bus is still at 23:45 arriving 00:31 - this little publicised and very reliable service has been operational since December 2006. The bus travels via Stonesfield goes along the Slade in Charlbury and then goes on to Chipping Norton. Fares are £3.20 single and £5.00 return. The timetable for the 20A which runs from Gloucester Green bus station can be seen at www.stagecoachbus.com/timetables/2020Aweb300308.pdf

Colin Critch · Fri 4 Apr 2008, 12:29 · Link


Are FGW on the right tracks at last?

Ahead of tomorrow's meeting with FGW, the latest analysis of the Cotswold Line blog on this website suggests that the modest improvements reported earlier in the year are not only being maintained but actually bettered. The figures for March 2008 are given below. The most startling statistic is that, of 75 peak services analysed, only one was cancelled (the 07.29 on the 19th). Thus reliability overall was 98.7%. The maximum delay reported to any service was 25 minutes, which is also very low. The average delay for the trains analysed was just over 4 minutes. Bloggers please note: I was only able to analyse data for one evening train (the 18.55) due to the paucity of reports for the other services. If your favourite train is not being mentioned then it is probably because you are not reporting on its performance! Please keep on blogging.

The analysis is as follows:

06.10 Charlbury to London: this train was reported on 13/19 occasions. It was not cancelled at all, ran on time on four occasions and was delayed nine times. Punctuality is thus 31% and reliability 100%. The average delay to this train was 7 mins.

06.37 Charlbury to London: this train was reported on 15/19 occasions. It was not cancelled at all, ran on time on seven occasions and was delayed eight times. Punctuality is thus 47% and reliability 100%. The average delay to this train was 3 mins.

07.29 Charlbury to London: this train was reported on 17/19 occasions. It was cancelled once, on time on 11 occasions and delayed five times. Punctuality is thus 69% and reliability 94%. The average delay to this train was 2 mins.

09.38 Charlbury to London: this train was reported on 13/19 occasions. It was not cancelled at all, ran on time on five occasions and was delayed eight times. Punctuality is thus 38% and reliability 100%. The average delay to this train was 6 mins.

18.55 Oxford to Worcester Shrub Hill: this train was reported on 18/19 occasions. It was not cancelled at all, ran on time on four occasions and was delayed 14 times. Punctuality is thus 22% and reliability 100%. The average delay to this train was 5 mins.

So it should be a short meeting tomorrow then, given that everything is running smoothly? Perhaps instead we can talk about defective ticket machines, ill-informed staff, wrongly programmed ticket barriers, problems boarding passengers at Paddington, overcrowding, poor quality accommodation (especially the horrible refurbished HSTs), the continued absence of the promised cafe at Charlbury, information conflicts, high ticket prices, the vast amounts of time that FGW trains spend stationary when they are supposed to be moving, garden sheds on the line, etc. etc. etc.

Derek Collett · Thu 3 Apr 2008, 12:19 · Link


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