Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Fresh look at £300k cycle safety project
Buy this photo » Graham Smith at the Dunmore Road and Wootton Road junction in Abingdon. Picture: OX62657 Ed Nix
PLANS for a £300,000 cycle safety scheme in Abingdon are being looked at again after an urban design expert raised concerns.
County cabinet member for environment David Nimmo Smith has agreed to the plans for Wootton Road in principle, but has ordered officers to find out more after former Oxford Brookes lecturer Graham Smith spoke out about the design at a public meeting.
The scheme drawn up by the council for the junction of Wootton Road and Dunmore Road includes a 200ft cycleway and a new Toucan crossing, which can be used by both pedestrians and cyclists.
But Mr Smith, who belongs to the Cyclists’ Touring Club, said the design was “inadequate” and a potential misuse of public money.
He said: “The issue is the weight and speed of traffic on Dunmore Road entering Wootton Road roundabout and vehicles potentially colliding with cyclists.
“What needs to happen, to enable cyclists and pedestrians crossing Wootton Road to be safer, is for a calmer stream of traffic approaching the island to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross conveniently.”
He raised concerns about the point at which the cycle path will merge with the road, claiming cyclists would have to turn their heads up to 130 degrees to see oncoming traffic, and said it would be possible to design a scheme without a Toucan crossing, which could cause delays.
He called for Wootton Road approaching the roundabout to be thinned down to one lane to slow traffic and make it easier for people to cross without the need for a crossing.
He said: “Where the road widens to practically a two-car width it can get quite dense at times. I am suggesting that it is narrowed to one lane.”
Mr Nimmo Smith called for meetings between officers and Mr Smith to iron out the details of the scheme before work starts. He said: “I’m minded to proceed with the principle. I don’t want to see a complete redesign but we may be able to compromise.”
The scheme will receive a £207,000 grant from the Department for Transport as part of a funding scheme for cyclists plus £95,000 from the county council.
It comes after two Larkmead school pupils were killed in recent years as they cycled to or from school.
Ty-Ree Partridge was 11 when she was killed in a collision in 2011 and Sarah Waterhouse, 17, died after a collision in 2009.
Comments are closed on this article.