Headington Headlines #296

Your weekly round-up of local news for 12 – 18 December.

The Hospitals Trust has published the schedule of heatpipe roadworks for Lime Walk covering the period 3 January to the end of February. The contractors didn’t quite meet their first target though – both sets of roadworks have over-run into this week, but we’re assured all will be finished by next Friday, probably before. Then it all starts again in the New Year.

All my posts about the project are under the ‘Energy Project’ tab in the main menu, and there’s a page of links and contact details here.

A driver captured this dashcam footage of a van driving the wrong way on the A40 dual carriageway. The video starts at the Thornhill P&R lights, heading east and ending at the layby before the Forest Hill turn.

Planning approval has been given for Nielsen House to be converted to “30 x 1-bed flats and 63 x 2-bed flats”.

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week:

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Travellers update
  • Internet Connection in Headington
  • Nielsen House

Headington Headlines #253

Your weekly round-up of local news for 8 – 14 February.

There’s a brief energy project round-up here. All my posts about the project are under the ‘Energy Project’ tab in the main menu, and there’s a page of links and contact details here.

Copse Lane, Marston will be closed east of Eden Drive from today (Monday) to Friday for construction of a pedestrian crossing.

Waitrose has submitted a planning application (ref: 15/03655/FUL) to put out tables & chairs on its Old High Street frontage.

A Barton man was sentenced to 6 years in jail for an assault with a bottle in March last year.

The group that runs the Tyndale School off Barracks Lane is interested in opening a new free primary school in Headington. I wrote a background piece about it.

@Oxonbike is going to add 16 electric bikes to its fleet this Spring. They say “Funding has been provided by the Dept of Transport and Oxford University to trial the interest and use of rental e-bikes within the scheme.” (And is ‘fleet’ the right term for a corporate set of bikes?)

Finders Keepers removed their advertising hoarding from the corner of Latimer Road after planning enforcement action.

A man from Headington was killed in an accident on the M40 near Banbury on the night of Sunday 7 February.

An enforcement notice has been served on the owner of 14 Sandfield Road requiring the fence to be lowered and the site cleared of excess materials.

Windmill Primary School @WindmillOxfordwas given an “outstanding” rating by Ofsted after an inspection last June.

A ‘small fire‘ at Oxford Brookes’ Abercrombie Building on Thursday evening became a ‘blaze‘ by the time the news reached @TheOxfordMail.

The two people arrested in connection with the Lloyd’s Bank robbery (see HH 250) appeared in Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with robbery.

Also on Friday a person riding a bike was taken to hospital in a “serious but not life-threatening condition” after someone hit them with a car.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Disruption
  • Tower block refurbishment
  • Empty ground-floor premises in Headington centre

Little Waitrose – First Impressions

I went to the Shell petrol station this morning and took the opportunity for a quick first look round Headington’s latest convenience store, “little Waitrose”.

First impressions are good – the store is light, and has a much more spacious feel than say Morrisons or Tesco, both of which are very cramped. There seemed to be a good selection of Waitrose stock, including fresh fruit and veg, packet salads etc. I noticed fresh pasta too. There are basic toiletries and household goods. I didn’t compare prices but others have said things are more expensive than in the main store, which is no surprise. I did notice one hallmark of the convenience store – bananas and other fruit are priced per piece, not by weight.

Fans of the Waitrose loyalty scheme need to be warned – their My Waitrose card has no value here. There’s no free coffee, no free papers and no 10%-off offers. I have heard these benefits may come later, though personally I’m doubtful if it will happen.

The main problem, and my specific complaint, is that the three or four checkout stations are shared between the store and the petrol. On my visit only one was staffed, meaning those only wanting to pay for petrol have to queue and wait while grocery shoppers (thankfully only one in my case) have their purchases processed and packed. This will not be popular with motorists who only want petrol, especially at busy times.

The converse is that people buying petrol and groceries spend longer in the shop and block the petrol pumps. I took the only free pump, and between starting to fill up and finally leaving the forecourt, hardly any of the other vehicles had moved on.

If Waitrose can fix this problem I think the store should do well.