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MONEY needs to be spent on safety imporvements to a key Wantage road before there is a serious accident, it has been warned.

Calls have been made to improve Ickleton Road out of the town as more houses are planned for the area.

Developments planned for the area include 2,500 homes on Grove Airfield and 1,500 at Crabhill in Wantage.

Jenny Hannaby, an Oxfordshire County Council member for Wantage and Grove, wants to see soft speed bumps on the stretch between Ham Road and Letcombe Lane.

The Liberal Democrat also wants to see the footpath restored and the overhanging trees cut back in the 30mph zone. She also said a mini roundabout at the junction of Letcombe Lane and Ickleton Road would slow traffic to a safe speed.

Ickleton Road resident John Hudson warns if nothing was done a serious accident was likely.

The 79-year-old said: “It is a wonder to me that there has not been one before.”

He said it was tough to pull out of his drive a peak times with motorists speeding through.

The retired electrical engineer said: “The big problem is getting out with the volume of traffic going up and down this road.

“Fortunately we have not had any bad accidents but we had a car turn over just before Christmas.

“There is a 30mph limit but if people observed it strictly there would not be much of a problem. They are driving down here and some of them doing 40 or 50mph.”

He added: “All the trees that are hanging over it should be cut back. It is like looking into a tunnel. The road surface is absolutely awful.”

Mrs Hannaby said the road had been raised as a concern on the Wantage and Grove Traffic Advisory Committee.

She said Ickleton Road drivers were taking their lives in to their hands when they pulled out of their drives, adding: “They need something done.”

She also said the road was unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians as it was too dark with the trees and there was no longer a footpath.

The councillor said: “It is a grave concern and we are going to have more houses. The whole roads needs to be resurfaced and repaired. It is in an awful state.”

The Wantage and Grove Traffic Advisory Committee – made up of representatives from the police, the county council, and Wantage Town and Grove Parish Councils – is due to discuss the road in a meeting at The Beacon next month.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Dominic Llewellyn-Jones said: “The road will be assessed and considered for resurfacing in future years. In the meantime any defects found are fixed as normal.

“Traffic calming has also been considered but as this location does not have a significant injury-collision history, and the county council is working to limited financial resources, there are no proposals at the moment.”

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