Fears new road layout will cut off pedestrians

South Hinksey parish councillors Christine Chater, left, and Maggie Rawcliffe, right, with Hinksey Hill resident, Hilary Briffeth

South Hinksey parish councillors Christine Chater, left, and Maggie Rawcliffe, right, with Hinksey Hill resident, Hilary Briffeth

First published in News

RESIDENTS have called for a pedestrian crossing on Hinksey Hill interchange so they are not isolated from Oxford by the new, faster traffic system.

Oxfordshire County Council is in the process of building a £7.5m scheme to improve traffic flow at the roundabout by 30 per cent.

But residents of Hinksey Hill, Boars Hill and Wootton have said quicker traffic on the roundabout will make an already risky crossing even worse.

South Hinksey Parish Council has now asked the county council to look at the feasibility of creating one or more button-operated crossings.

Chairman Maggie Rawcliffe said: “Our concern is that Hinksey Hill will be cut off.

“Insufficient attention has been given to pedestrians and cyclists trying to get into the city from Hinksey Hill.”

The traffic improvements will create a new slip road onto the A34 from the southern bypass between Kennington roundabout and Hinksey Hill interchange.

With 60,000 vehicles a day using the two roundabouts, the aim is to increase capacity by 30 per cent during the evening rush hour.

The work is expected to be complete by the end of November, with contractors working six days a week to get the scheme finished on time.

Parish councillor Christine Chater, who lives on Hinksey Hill, walks across the interchange most days to get into Oxford.

She said some people cross on the roundabout’s north-western bridge, waiting for gaps between traffic from the roundabout and from Hinksey Hill.

Others, she said, cross on the south-east bridge, then cycle along the south side of the bypass to Kennington roundabout to cross onto Abingdon Road.

She said she was “appalled” when she realised people were making the more difficult southern crossing.

She added: “I have seen schoolboys crossing there. I usually meet a cyclist or someone using it to get to work.

“The parish is effectively cut in two.”

County councillor for South Hinksey Bob Johnston backed villagers’ calls for a crossing.

He said: “The problem from the point of view of cyclists and pedestrians coming down the hill is that traffic is likely to speed up on the roundabout as a whole.

“It will be particularly bad at busy times when they rely on slow traffic to get into the city, so they’re saying ‘could there be a pedestrian-operated light?’ “It is a perfectly reasonable request, but I suspect the council might say no.

“You would have to make sure it didn’t just mess up the traffic flow which these works are designed to improve.”

He said one pedestrian crossing would cost about £30,000.

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