Drive to take a longer look at shut MINI plant slip road

Colin Mutton is baffled as to why a public road by the Mini plant has been closed by the county council. Picture: OX64667 Antony Moore

Colin Mutton is baffled as to why a public road by the Mini plant has been closed by the county council. Picture: OX64667 Antony Moore Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

ROAD bosses are to review whether a slip road should stay closed alongisde Oxford’s ring road by BMW Mini.

Oxfordshire County Council shut the lane by the A4142 from Horspath Road to Watlington Road at Oxford Retail Park in October.

It followed safety concerns from plant bosses about use of the road.

Horspath resident Colin Mutton used the slip-road from Horsparth Road to the roundabout at Watlington Road, to go into Cowley.

Mr Mutton, who runs the Swan Motor Centre in Betweens Town Road, said: “It is good for people who don’t want to have to tackle the dual carriageway.

“You can just go down it and get to the shops – Tesco and Marks and Spencer – and into Cowley very quickly.

“I am sure many other people use it.

“I have heard that it was closed because people are driving down it too fast, but if that is the case, something like speed humps could be put in place to help slow cars down.

I’ve been trying to find out what is going on, but don’t seem to be getting anywhere with either the county council or Mini. If it is because of safety, then in my opinion it may be making things more unsafe as more people will be going on to the bypass.”

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Council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “In order to address safety concerns the county council in October, working with BMW, closed a service road which is adjacent to the A4142 and directed normal traffic to use the A4142 rather than the service road.

He said: “Many people using the slip road prior to closure were using it to undertake traffic on the main carriageway.

“This caused safety concerns around the slip road's junction with other roads.”

“The results in terms of access to BMW and any effect on the overall highway network will be assessed in due course.”

Mini spokeswoman Rebecca Baxter said: “The barriers were put in place some months ago as a trial which came about following safety concerns arising from the incorrect use of the filter lane to access Plant Oxford.”

Comments (11)

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8:33am Wed 22 Jan 14

Kev1983 says...

Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.
Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else. Kev1983
  • Score: -75

8:44am Wed 22 Jan 14

Bart_simpsonDoh says...

Mr Mutton, who runs the Swan Motor Centre in Betweens Town Road, said: “It is good for people who don’t want to have to tackle the dual carriageway.
Then they should not be driving!! Who are these morons that can not drive on a dual carriageway???????? and he runs a car garage!!!! You couldn't make it up. The barriers must be kept to stop the idiots using it as a short cut and to stop people like Mr Mutton from shopping at Tescos, it wont be so packed.
Mr Mutton, who runs the Swan Motor Centre in Betweens Town Road, said: “It is good for people who don’t want to have to tackle the dual carriageway. Then they should not be driving!! Who are these morons that can not drive on a dual carriageway???????? and he runs a car garage!!!! You couldn't make it up. The barriers must be kept to stop the idiots using it as a short cut and to stop people like Mr Mutton from shopping at Tescos, it wont be so packed. Bart_simpsonDoh
  • Score: -187

9:02am Wed 22 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Kev1983 wrote:
Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.
It's even worse now.

I used it all the time, but stuck to the 30mph limit despite usually being tailgated or undertaken.

Trouble is now that instead of around 25% of the traffic diverting and using that route to Cowley it all sticks to the left lane of the dual carriageway, queuing back past Homebase making it difficult for BMW staff to merge onto the bypass.

So we now have exiting BMW staff travelling slowing indicating and looking for a gap to enter the bypass on the same section of road that cars are trying to come off.

Not to mention the drivers who think the road is now completely closed and don't check for exiting BMW staff on the slip-road...
[quote][p][bold]Kev1983[/bold] wrote: Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.[/p][/quote]It's even worse now. I used it all the time, but stuck to the 30mph limit despite usually being tailgated or undertaken. Trouble is now that instead of around 25% of the traffic diverting and using that route to Cowley it all sticks to the left lane of the dual carriageway, queuing back past Homebase making it difficult for BMW staff to merge onto the bypass. So we now have exiting BMW staff travelling slowing indicating and looking for a gap to enter the bypass on the same section of road that cars are trying to come off. Not to mention the drivers who think the road is now completely closed and don't check for exiting BMW staff on the slip-road... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 3

9:48am Wed 22 Jan 14

WitneyCentreOfTheWorld says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Kev1983 wrote:
Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.
It's even worse now.

I used it all the time, but stuck to the 30mph limit despite usually being tailgated or undertaken.

Trouble is now that instead of around 25% of the traffic diverting and using that route to Cowley it all sticks to the left lane of the dual carriageway, queuing back past Homebase making it difficult for BMW staff to merge onto the bypass.

So we now have exiting BMW staff travelling slowing indicating and looking for a gap to enter the bypass on the same section of road that cars are trying to come off.

Not to mention the drivers who think the road is now completely closed and don't check for exiting BMW staff on the slip-road...
Is this really the case? Do people use the same slip road to both enter and exist from the ring-road? Perhaps people should enter from the slip road after the Tesco roundabout, i.e. make the slip road an exit only.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kev1983[/bold] wrote: Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.[/p][/quote]It's even worse now. I used it all the time, but stuck to the 30mph limit despite usually being tailgated or undertaken. Trouble is now that instead of around 25% of the traffic diverting and using that route to Cowley it all sticks to the left lane of the dual carriageway, queuing back past Homebase making it difficult for BMW staff to merge onto the bypass. So we now have exiting BMW staff travelling slowing indicating and looking for a gap to enter the bypass on the same section of road that cars are trying to come off. Not to mention the drivers who think the road is now completely closed and don't check for exiting BMW staff on the slip-road...[/p][/quote]Is this really the case? Do people use the same slip road to both enter and exist from the ring-road? Perhaps people should enter from the slip road after the Tesco roundabout, i.e. make the slip road an exit only. WitneyCentreOfTheWorld
  • Score: -112

10:12am Wed 22 Jan 14

The racer says...

Don't you think it's about BMW - a major employer with some clout - wanting to have its own private driveway?
Don't you think it's about BMW - a major employer with some clout - wanting to have its own private driveway? The racer
  • Score: -95

10:15am Wed 22 Jan 14

The racer says...

Kev1983 wrote:
Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.
Therefore... go down the empty right lane and 360 the roundabout to get to Tesco/Blackbird Leys. Bit of lateral thinking - saves loads of time.
[quote][p][bold]Kev1983[/bold] wrote: Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.[/p][/quote]Therefore... go down the empty right lane and 360 the roundabout to get to Tesco/Blackbird Leys. Bit of lateral thinking - saves loads of time. The racer
  • Score: -95

1:00pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Doctor69 says...

This section of road was used mainly by people wanting to undertake traffic on the dual carriageway and get to the retail park exit quicker. Closing it is the correct decision in my mind.
This section of road was used mainly by people wanting to undertake traffic on the dual carriageway and get to the retail park exit quicker. Closing it is the correct decision in my mind. Doctor69
  • Score: -78

2:10pm Wed 22 Jan 14

I_am_having_my_say!! says...

Yesterday I watched a foreign articulated lorry which had made its delivery to BMW reverse out of the BMW slipway after taking the wrong route. By doing this he stopped the traffic in every direction. Very dangerous!! If the route had been open he could of continued back on to the dual carriageway!!!
Yesterday I watched a foreign articulated lorry which had made its delivery to BMW reverse out of the BMW slipway after taking the wrong route. By doing this he stopped the traffic in every direction. Very dangerous!! If the route had been open he could of continued back on to the dual carriageway!!! I_am_having_my_say!!
  • Score: -111

2:29pm Wed 22 Jan 14

King Joke says...

I love the way he suggests putting speed humps down the slip road. I'm sure if they did you'd see his mug in the paper next years complaining about how the speed humps hurt his back.
I love the way he suggests putting speed humps down the slip road. I'm sure if they did you'd see his mug in the paper next years complaining about how the speed humps hurt his back. King Joke
  • Score: -44

2:31pm Wed 22 Jan 14

King Joke says...

WitneyCentreOfTheWor
ld
wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Kev1983 wrote: Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.
It's even worse now. I used it all the time, but stuck to the 30mph limit despite usually being tailgated or undertaken. Trouble is now that instead of around 25% of the traffic diverting and using that route to Cowley it all sticks to the left lane of the dual carriageway, queuing back past Homebase making it difficult for BMW staff to merge onto the bypass. So we now have exiting BMW staff travelling slowing indicating and looking for a gap to enter the bypass on the same section of road that cars are trying to come off. Not to mention the drivers who think the road is now completely closed and don't check for exiting BMW staff on the slip-road...
Is this really the case? Do people use the same slip road to both enter and exist from the ring-road? Perhaps people should enter from the slip road after the Tesco roundabout, i.e. make the slip road an exit only.
That would put more traffic on the roundabout and make it more difficult for BMW staff. The overpass - a bit of a white elephant IMHO - is under-used as it is.

It's all the BMW's fault for closing the cycle underpass which ran directly into the factory.
[quote][p][bold]WitneyCentreOfTheWor ld[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kev1983[/bold] wrote: Before the barriers were in place it was a nightmare to come off the dual carriageway in the correct manner, so many people already there and not really sure whether they want to be in the right, or left lane for the roundabout. keep the barriers and get on the dual carriageway like everyone else.[/p][/quote]It's even worse now. I used it all the time, but stuck to the 30mph limit despite usually being tailgated or undertaken. Trouble is now that instead of around 25% of the traffic diverting and using that route to Cowley it all sticks to the left lane of the dual carriageway, queuing back past Homebase making it difficult for BMW staff to merge onto the bypass. So we now have exiting BMW staff travelling slowing indicating and looking for a gap to enter the bypass on the same section of road that cars are trying to come off. Not to mention the drivers who think the road is now completely closed and don't check for exiting BMW staff on the slip-road...[/p][/quote]Is this really the case? Do people use the same slip road to both enter and exist from the ring-road? Perhaps people should enter from the slip road after the Tesco roundabout, i.e. make the slip road an exit only.[/p][/quote]That would put more traffic on the roundabout and make it more difficult for BMW staff. The overpass - a bit of a white elephant IMHO - is under-used as it is. It's all the BMW's fault for closing the cycle underpass which ran directly into the factory. King Joke
  • Score: 44

3:26pm Wed 22 Jan 14

dhorspath says...

On October 17th I made a FOI request to Highways as to how much this was costing taxpayers and below is their response. Whilst I appreciate the safety concerns, it is clear from the response that when BMW click their fingers, they get what they want. What dismays me is that this is hardly a Highways priority and £25,000 would go a long way to repairing the hundreds of remaining pot holes from last winter, which continue to damage our cars. The ordinary road user and taxpayer yet again loses out twice!

Thank you for your request of 17 October 2013 in which you asked for information about the recently introduced experimental closure to through traffic of the southbound service road alongside A4142 Eastern Bypass south from Horspath Road past the BMW site.
In particular you asked for the sum of money the County Council have spent of taxpayers money to date on road alterations and the installation of new road signage at this location including an estimate of the 'man hours' involved, and what contribution to or percentage of this sum by way of a donation to the County Council's costs has been made by BMW
Please find our response below in blue:
The budget for this project is £25,000. Recorded spend to date includes the following:-
Legal and advertising £634
Staff time (note not all staff use the recording system) £1730
Works cost £16,242
These costs are all excluding VAT
The County Council’s overall ambition is to deliver ‘A thriving Oxfordshire’. By this, we mean a County where businesses have the opportunity to start up to succeed and to expand. BMW is a major employer in Oxfordshire and through our regular liaisons with employers/businesses within the County; we have discussed how we could improve/facilitate accessibility for these organisations where practicable/possible
. This is the main driver for the experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) currently being trialled. Pending the evaluations of the trial and feedback from others, and the cost of possible permanent works, negotiations with BMW will then take place for a contribution towards the total costs of this scheme, inclusive of the costs of the temporary trial.
On October 17th I made a FOI request to Highways as to how much this was costing taxpayers and below is their response. Whilst I appreciate the safety concerns, it is clear from the response that when BMW click their fingers, they get what they want. What dismays me is that this is hardly a Highways priority and £25,000 would go a long way to repairing the hundreds of remaining pot holes from last winter, which continue to damage our cars. The ordinary road user and taxpayer yet again loses out twice! Thank you for your request of 17 October 2013 in which you asked for information about the recently introduced experimental closure to through traffic of the southbound service road alongside A4142 Eastern Bypass south from Horspath Road past the BMW site. In particular you asked for the sum of money the County Council have spent of taxpayers money to date on road alterations and the installation of new road signage at this location including an estimate of the 'man hours' involved, and what contribution to or percentage of this sum by way of a donation to the County Council's costs has been made by BMW Please find our response below in blue: The budget for this project is £25,000. Recorded spend to date includes the following:- Legal and advertising £634 Staff time (note not all staff use the recording system) £1730 Works cost £16,242 These costs are all excluding VAT The County Council’s overall ambition is to deliver ‘A thriving Oxfordshire’. By this, we mean a County where businesses have the opportunity to start up to succeed and to expand. BMW is a major employer in Oxfordshire and through our regular liaisons with employers/businesses within the County; we have discussed how we could improve/facilitate accessibility for these organisations where practicable/possible . This is the main driver for the experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) currently being trialled. Pending the evaluations of the trial and feedback from others, and the cost of possible permanent works, negotiations with BMW will then take place for a contribution towards the total costs of this scheme, inclusive of the costs of the temporary trial. dhorspath
  • Score: 3

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