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Campaigner says Woodstock Road crossings won't be dangerous
A PEDESTRIANS’ campaigner has dismissed police fears that a new safety scheme for a major Oxford road could be dangerous.
The scheme ties in with the redevelopment of the Radcliffe Observatory quarter, where the university is currently building its Mathematical Institute building and has completed its redevelopment of the former Radcliffe Infirmary building.
The pavements along Woodstock Road will be widened, new cycle lanes created and a central refuge built similar to an existing one in High Street.
But plans for two ‘courtesy crossings’ have prompted objections from Thames Valley Police who fear paving them to resemble real zebra crossings could prove a road hazard.
Responding to the consultation, a police spokesman said: “While I am not at all against the idea of courtesy crossings I do believe that making them look like a zebra crossing with light and dark stripes could lead to confusion.
“All it takes is for a pedestrian to think it is a real zebra crossing whilst the motorist thinks it isn’t and we have a conflict leading to collision.”
The county council has said that under the Highway Code pedestrians should wait for cars to stop before using pedestrian crossings, and that the narrowness of the carriageway will help those on foot get across quickly.
Pedestrian campaigner Sushila Dhall welcomed the proposals.
She said: “It is going to be a lot more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.
“Woodstock Road will change from being a road primarily for through traffic to one which is going to be welcoming for people to walk and meet each other. It should also be safer.
“I expect most drivers will slow down as well. They tend to go faster when roads are wider so it stands to reason they will slow down when the road is narrower.”
The road scheme is expected to be completed by September, when the Mathematical Institute building is set to open.
It is being funded by financial contributions made by Oxford University towards infrastructure in the city.
County councillor Rodney Rose, cabinet member for transport, is expected to approve the scheme on Thursday.