Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Archive - Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Find by date
Other ways to search
Also look for
£500,000 road safety scheme causes drivers to head in wrong direction
MOTORISTS have been driving the wrong way up a one-way street after a new £500,000 road safety scheme was built.
The £555,000 New Headington Transport Improvements scheme has included new chicanes, flattened speed bumps and new yellow lines. It aimed to make the area safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
But residents say it has sparked confusion and drivers have been spotted travelling the wrong way up New High Street towards London Road.
Thames Valley Police spokesman Craig Evry said officers were aware of problems in the Lime Walk and Stapleton Road area due to one of the new junctions.
He added: “There has also been a considerable knock-on effect in New High Street and we have been made aware of motorists contravening the one-way system.
“We continue to carry out regular patrols of the area to help address this issue.”
Residents believe the changes have confused drivers, who have found themselves at the top of New High Street by accident after negotiating the new junctions.
Last night Headington city councillor Ruth Wilkinson said: “I am concerned about safety.
“Some of the residents in the street have mobility problems and walk slowly.
“They don’t expect to see cars coming from the wrong direction as they cross the street.
“Spending a fistful of money isn't enough.
“What the traffic problems of Headington need is a coherent strategy.”
The problem was raised on the online Headington and Marston Neighbourhood forum.
One New High Street resident said: “This is particularly dangerous when turning into New High Street from the London Road to be faced with a car trying to pull out, blocking the road.”
Oxfordshire County Council is currently putting the finishing touches to the scheme, work on which started last October.
Earlier this year, Headington residents also complained about some drivers cutting the corners of certain roads after the speedbumps had been put in.
Residents added the money would have been better spent elsewhere, such as fixing potholes.
Dene Road resident Jane Alexander said: “The road surfaces here, especially near to the edge of the road, are appalling.
“I think the money would have been better spent on improving that, rather than this vanity project.”
The scheme was funded by developer cash, a grant from charity Sustrans and £43,000 from the county council.
A council spokesman said: “There have been no alterations to this one-way system, which has been in operation on New High Street for a number of years. We have worked very closely with local residents in developing the scheme which is aimed at improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and to calm traffic in the local area.
“We believe this was a good use of the funding.”
The spokesman added: “The vast majority of funding for the scheme has come from sources specifically allocated for measures to encourage sustainable methods of transport such as cycling and walking.
“That means it could not have been used for other purposes.”
County council cabinet member for transport Rodney Rose said last night: “I have not been made aware of this.
“But the signs are perfectly clear and if drivers are ignoring them there’s not much I can say.”