THE majority of residents living near a controversial A40 junction have called for a pedestrian crossing to improve safety.

The gap in the London Road from the Risinghurst estate has been blocked off since May last year for an 18-month trial following safety concerns.

And as reported by the Oxford Mail last week, Oxfordshire County Council member for transport David Nimmo Smith is tomorrow set to decide to close the gap permanently. But Oxford City Council and county council members for the Barton and Risinghurst estates have now released the results of a residents’ survey ahead of tomorrow’s decision.

It shows that the majority of those asked – 79 per cent of the 250 people who responded – want to see a crossing installed whether or not the junction is fully closed or open.

Laurence Baxter, city council member for Risinghurst and Quarry, said: “It shows people are quite energised about this.”

The Labour councillor said seven per cent of people wanted the gap to stay fully open and 14 per cent said they wanted it closed permanently.

The gap between the A40 eastbound and Collinwood Road was closed after five serious and three slight injury accidents in five years.

The survey was delivered to all 1,527 houses in Risinghurst and Barton homes near to the crossing.

Dee Sinclair, Labour city council member for Risinghurst and Quarry, said more than half of residents said they wanted the junction to stay open but with traffic lights.

She said: “The responses are reassuring, they support our 11-year campaign to make this a safe junction with traffic lights.”

And Mike Rowley, Labour city council member for Barton and Sandhills, added: “Local people’s priority is clearly the safety of people crossing the A40.”

One Barton resident said in their survey response: “I have two small kids who go to Wheatley School.

“I would like a pedestrian crossing as it is very dangerous to cross.

“Cars travel at 50mph and a lot of kids cross there.”

The survey also found businesses had been affected by the road closure. One Risinghurst business owner said: “Business has slowed down since the close of the junction.

“The county council needs to help small business to survive rather than making it harder.”

A decision will be made in the meeting from 10.30am tomorrow at County Hall.

The public are welcome to attend.