Tag Archives: oxford railway station

Frideswide Square – so good they fixed it thrice

Residents of Mill Street had a missive from Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) in early February headed “improvements at Frideswide Square” and penned by Owen Jenkins, the grandly named director for infrastructure delivery.

You can find the details of the seven week scheme to repair Frideswide Square at this link, – although you won’t find the letter, I don’t think.

West Oxford is being “regenerated” and some people might think that’s a good thing – certainly house prices here in Mill Street continue to  go through the roof.

Owen said, in his billet doux, that cyclists will “benefit” from “new dropped kerbs” while OCC is is providing “tactile paving” for “visually impaired users” at all crossing points.

Now, here’s the thing. Pedestrians and motorists don’t really know whether people or cars have any right of way, so people don’t know whether these “crossing points” are safe.

Owen is, no doubt, too young to remember this, but in the 1930s  Hore Belisha (pictured, above) had a bright idea to put lights and stripes on roads – “zebra crossings” – and introduced the driving test. The “crossing points” at Frideswide Square don’t have any stripes so we are all taking a bit of a risk, or maybe “dicing with death”.

Why does that matter? Well, because the square is close to the railway station and also funnels a considerable amount of motor traffic into Oxford using the already congested Botley Road, motorists and pedestrians unfamiliar with the weirdness have every chance of being confused by what’s going on. Even us local residents are confuseniks.

The scheme starts on the 11th of February and finishes on the 23rd of March 2018, if we’re lucky. 

Mad Mike views Oxford railway station with interest

It seems there is a plan afoot to refurb Oxford railway station. You can see more, here.  

Behold! The pyramid and the sphincter displayed

JUST FIVE MINUTES away from where I live is the Saïd Business Centre – part of the University of Oxford. And so then to Silicon Valley comes to Oxford, to hear of cabbages and kings in the interwibble world.

Said Business Centre, Oxford

Saïd is just opposite Oxford Railway Station – I’ve been there waiting for a Number 5 bus up the Cowley Road to hear a lass say in loud tones of wailing: “I come to Oxford for the dreaming spires and this monstrosity is ahead of me”.

Or, as my builder said today – I think the architect loved it more than the people who have to use it.

Perhaps slightly unfair. But it is a blot on the landscape when you first arrive in Oxford. And inside, as one very senior journalist vouchsafed to me this morning, it’s pretty hard to find the toilets after  you’ve tipped up in the City of Screaming Squires.

Still, much wisdom was spoken of in the Pyramid. Twitters there were many, and Biz Stone did expound his view of how La Crosse is a great game because there are no lines on the court. And the like.