Sustainable Woodstock

We aim to raise public awareness among the residents of Woodstock and beyond on the climate emergency, energy conservation, sustainable travel, waste reduction, recycling, bio-diversity, sustainable economics and respect for the planet. 
We are working with local councils, Woodstock Town Council, local schools and churches, Blenheim Palace, local businesses, the Farmers Market and the Woodstock trade association, Wake Up to Woodstock

Woodstock Safe Routes

This page sets out more detailed proposals for Sustainable Woodstock’s Safer Routes Projects and includes road safety issues related to walking, cycling and the general well-being of the community.

For proposals for Active Travel throughout the wider connecting network of villages incorporating Woodstock, Bladon, Hanborough, Combe, Stonesfield, Wootton and Blenheim, go to our sister website at

The Problem:-

The narrow pavements and carriageway Old Woodstock and at The Black Prince pub

Left:  Narrow pavements and carriageway at The Causeway  Right:  The A4095 Hanborough to Bladon

And this is what can happen without adequate safety protection .....

The A44 carries some 15,000 vpd, (peak hour flow 1200 vph) of which 7% are HGVs.  The carriageway is:-

The average vehicle speeds vary from under 30 mph in the town centre area to about 32 mph on the hills.

For residents in Old Woodstock in particular there is no alternative route to the schools and the town centre other than to use the A44.

So what is Sustainable Woodstock doing ....

The Woodstock Safe Routes Project has joined forces with other campaigners across Oxfordshire for a default 20 mph speed limit in all residential streets and shopping areas.  Read more here including the groups first press release ....

The new Fair Deal Alliance at Oxfordshire County Council is a Lib Dem, Labour and Green coalition and have already committed to rolling out 20 mph speed limits across Oxfordshire to all communities that request it.  Woodstock has submitted its bid but as the roll out will be spread over several years, Sustainable Woodstock is anxious to apply the maximum campaigning pressure to ensure that our demands are met at the earliest opportunity.  There can be few communities with the same severe traffic problems that Woodstock experiences with its busy A44 road.

We believe that the case for a targeted 20 mph speed limit over a critically limited length of the A44 is strong and the opportunity that the government’s statutory guidance offers will allow a temporary Traffic Regulation Order to be drawn up with suitable lines and signs at low cost.

Supplementary Measures required include the following:-

1.      Reduction of the current 50 mph speed limit on the A44 between the Bladon Roundabout and the present 30 mph limit.  This 50 mph limit should be reduced to either 40 or 30 mph

2.      Likewise, north of the town, the present 50 mph limit should be reduced between Hill Rise and the first Wootton turning (Stratford Lane) to 40 mph.  This would particularly support cyclists to and from Wootton and other destinations, as there is no segregated cycle path on this fast stretch of carriageway.

Additional cycle racks in the town centre are also required the location of which should be agreed with the Town Council

You can read the full submission to Oxfordshire County Council here and a similar proposal has also been submitted in respect of the A4095 through Bladon

We are also campaigning for a new Off Road cycle footpath from the north of the Woodstock (Old Woodstock) to the town centre and to the schools.  Working with Blenheim Estates we have come up with a plan that provides an off road link from the proposed new development at the back of Hill Rise across the new woodland area planted by Blenheim and crossing the River Glyme millstream on a simple timber bridge close to where the river and millstream separate.  It will then link into the public road netowrk in Glyme Close and thence via safe and quiet roads to the town centre, the schools, the surgery, the swimming pool and all of Woodstock's services.

The Town Council has, so far, refused consent for this off-road path over the watermeadows that it owns.  However, we believe this was a misguided decision based on a misunderstanding of the proposals and we hope to have the matter reviewed in the near future.

See a plan and further details of our suggested off highway alternative routes from Old Woodstock to the town centre and to the schools here.

 Traffic Management

But it’s not just about building new cycle footways and better cycle access through Blenheim Park.  Measures are need to better control and manage traffic throughout Woodstock and the neighbouring villages.  Here are a few ideas that Sustainable Woodstock's Safe Routes project has offered as a way forward:-

We need to provide an extension of the 30 mph speed limit on the A44 from the A4095 Bladon to the present point at which the speed limit starts.  We also need to have the existing cycle footway from the roundabout to Bladon Chain widened and improved, including safer crossing points at the roundabout.

We need a 20 mph speed limit on the A44 in Woodstock Town Centre and it is suggested that it should run from Caroline Court at least to Lower Brook Hill.  A further section within Old Woodstock should also be considered.  The extent of the limit is open to further discussion.

We also need to have the 30 mph on the A44 extended at the northern end of town to incorporate the new access to the proposed Hill Rise development.

And we need to have new and improved signalised pedestrian crossings at these locations:-

  1. On the A44 at “The Cowyards” to accommodate a new bus stopping point and bus bay for the new Park View development at Woodstock South-East.
  2. The upgrading of the exisiting Belisha beacon crossing on the A44 at The Causeway to a full signalised pedestrian crossing
  3. A new signalised pedestrian crossing at Hill Rise fo access to the proposed new cycle footway witin Blenheim Park



See also our page of FAQs on Speed Limits, One-Way streets and HGV Weight Limits

Longer term, Woodstock Safer Routes campaign also seeks a safe pedestrian/cycle route connecting Woodstock to Wootton, Stonesfield and Charlbury through the provision of a segregated cycle/footway alongside the A44 from Hill Rise to the junction with the B4437 at Judds Garage.

There are four possibilities:-

  1.  The Orange route.  This follows the line of the existing public right of way on foot (footpath) from the proposed Old Woodstock development site, direct to Wootton. 
  2. The Green route.  This uses the existing pavement (footway) on the west side of the A44.  It will need substantial improvement to be a viable cycle/footway.  It will need to proceed as far as the junction with the B4437 (at The Duke of Marlborough pub) because a crossing at the first Wootton turn is too dangerous.  A signalised crossing at the B4437 junction is possible and would provide additional road safety at this junction with a long accident history.
  3. The Pink route follows the existing Sustrans National Cycle Network Route No. 5.  It would then need to turn onto an existing bridleway to Milford Bridge and on the Wootton.

The prefered proposal at present is for a combination of the blue and green routes using segregated cycle footways on both sides of the busy A44 north of Woodstock from Hill Rise to the 1st Wootton turning.  From there to the B4437 (Duke of Marlborough pub and Judds Garage) the cycle footway would continue on the west side only.  Access to Wootton from the 1st Wootton turn would be by the existing minor road network (some traffic management measures may be needed on the narrow steep hill at West End Wootton).

This proposal is particularly important for the vitality of the Wootton Primary School that continues to draw pupils from the Old Woodstock catchment area.  An accessible and sustainable walking and cycling alternative will benefit familes with students attending both the Wootton Primary School and the Marlborough secondary school.

Copyright acknowledgements

© Ordnance Survey Crown copyright. Oxfordshire County Council End User OS licence no.0100023343

Conditions:  Reproduced from the Ordnance Survey mapping with the permission of the Controller or His Majesty’s Stationery Office Crown Copyright.  Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright, and may lead to prosecution of civil proceedings.