PEDESTRIANS and cyclists in Bicester say roads and crossings in the town are unsafe, after a string of accidents.

Incidents at the Rodney House and Bicester Village roundabouts, where pedestrians have been struck by cars, have raised concerns among householders.

It is believed that a lack of paths connecting different areas of the town has led to an increase in people using cars for small trips, causing more congestion.

Godfrey Brant, 67, said: “Bicester is designed to get motorists around. Pedestrians aren’t even an afterthought, they are out of the equation altogether.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, tried walking from their home in Langford to Graven Hill, where a ‘super-surgery’ may be built, but says the route is only for the ‘hearty’.

They said: “Crossing the B4100 and A41 took time, but also extreme caution – traffic on both crossings was only just able to stop as they approached the pedestrian lights and there’s no audible indication to cross.

“I’ve seen cars go through the pedestrian lights when red. It’s a route only feasible for the hale and hearty, not for those with pushchairs, toddlers, or mobility problems, and not one to take in poor light or bad weather.”

Oxfordshire County Council says it is preparing a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Bicester.

Under this, a complete cycle and walking network for the town has been identified with the help of stakeholders.

Work is underway to identify what improvements are needed to ensure the network is comfortable, convenient and safe for all users and it is hoped the plan will be completed by summer 2020.

It will build on the current LTP 4 (Local Transport Plan 4) proposals and will inform the forthcoming Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP) and future development proposals.

Residents are also still worried about the safety of Vendee Drive roundabout after a couple were killed in a crash at the junction last year.

Oxford Mail:

George Bennett, Chair of Bicester Bicycle Users’ Group criticises the council’s design of the town’s roundabouts.

He said: “Typically, they create multiple lanes with splayed entries as they meet the roundabout. This accommodates and encourages high speeds, creates a wide area for a pedestrian or cyclist to cross, and means that vulnerable users are only visible to vehicles at the last moment creating unnecessary risk and intimidation.

Oxford Mail:

“The consolation is pelican crossings, but these cannot be placed where people want to cross because putting lights near a roundabout risks confusing drivers. Pelican crossings are also extremely slow, a further barrier to active travel.”

Residents want their concerns taken into account in the design of a new roundabout on the A41 Aylesbury Road, which the council says is needed to deliver access to Wretchwick Green and Graven Hill. It will be on the alignment of the South East Perimeter Road at the Pioneer Road junction.