Worried Woodstock parents invited local councillors and the Oxford Mail to experience their ‘hairy’ daily school run on pavements alongside the A44 yesterday.

Jonathan Creak and Sophie Carter walk their children Faith, 11, Ethan, seven, and Isla and Jaxon, both one, plus friends from their home near Vermont Drive to Woodstock Primary School every morning and afternoon.

Yesterday morning they were joined by a county and a district councillor, myself and other concerned families.

Mr Creak said: “The worst part of the traffic situation is due to the downhill speed of the vehicles that then converge on the narrow sections of Manor Road.

Witney Gazette:  A passing lorry

“The slight bend at the Black Prince is also a vulnerable point that has seen some vehicles strike the metal railing that protects the pub and footpath.

“People come into the 30mph zone on the approach from Chipping Norton and slow down for the speed camera and keep to that speed for about 50 yards. Sadly the traffic, in the main, then picks speed back up again as it comes down the hill on the route we walked and thunders down on the approach to the Black Prince and zebra crossing.

“The traffic is so close to you. You feel at times extremely vulnerable and with all the development in Woodstock there is only going to be an increase in families using the footpaths as well as road users.”

Cllr Andy Graham, who represents Woodstock Division on Oxfordshire County Council, joined us on the walk and said one problem was that the temporary closure of Burford bridge to HGVs had increased the number of lorries on the A44.

He said: “Burford bridge temporary traffic order initial findings have not fully taken into account the HGV movement of lorries into the north of Woodstock from the A44 Chipping Norton and A3400 Shipton and Stratford direct.”

Witney Gazette: Woodstock school run

He said this will now will be rectified subject to the cabinet decision on July 29 and the final decision on whether or not the order will be rescinded or not will be taken by end of January.

He added: “The other issue is air pollution and this is major” and he added that three large new housing developments – one being built and two proposed - amounting to over 600 homes in Woodstock would add to the problem.

“In this area of Old Woodstock the proposed Hill Rise development is 180 homes - 60 more than what is included in the local plan and will make traffic on the A44 even more congested," he said. "Unacceptable. You’ve got to take into account the safety of the existing development.”

Cllr Elizabeth Poskitt, of the town and district council, said: “Well, it’s hairy isn’t it?”

She added: “Plans are under discussion for a 20mph speed limit as well as barriers by The Black Prince. The trouble is getting something really strong and it will narrow the road. What they really need is a 20mph limit that is enforceable and speed monitors.”

She added that serious consideration should be given to a footpath by the river, however, the land there is marshy.

 “The plans for a development at Hill Rise have not yet passed and the path might come out of that,” she said.

Witney Gazette: Woodstock school run

She added: “The Burford bridge ban on HGVs has made things worse. We need to get that opened up. Burford has a claim because they have listed buildings on the hill but their listed buildings are much further from the road than they are here.”

She said Woodstock too had plenty of listed buildings.

“Here they are that much nearer in parts and there is much more risk of pollution.”