CALLS for safer crossings near to a new supermarket are being made by local Green Party members.

In November of last year, Lidl opened its new store in New Close Lane – just a few hundred metres away from the former premises in Ducklington Lane.

The new shop is around one-third bigger than its predecessor in the town, however getting to it has been criticised by Green Party members.

The West Oxfordshire Green Party described the new store – and a new Travelodge – as ‘welcome additions’ to the area, but said the county council had ‘not made it easy for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooter users to get there safely’.

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A statement from the party read: “Pathways and cycle lanes have been put in place but these cross slip roads onto and off the A40, as well as the road coming off the A415 Ducklington Roundabout.

“There are no traffic light-controlled or zebra crossings to the supermarket, so pedestrians and cyclists have to dart across the road between the fast-moving traffic.

“The route is also poorly signposted.

“The county council has taken steps to slow the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph for traffic on the A415 either side of and including the roundabout.”

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Green Party councillor Andrew Prosser, who is vice-chair of Witney Town Council’s climate, biodiversity and planning committee, said steps taken by Oxfordshire County Council were not sufficient, and called for measures to make it safer for pedestrians.

He said: “The first time I walked to the new store, close to rush hour time, I didn’t feel safe crossing the roads at all, as cars and lights zipped by in the dusk.

“It is better in the daylight, but I really do worry about the safety of those who can’t cross quickly, such as anyone with a pushchair or has limited mobility.

“If we want to reduce congestion, improve air quality, and make it safer and easier for people to get about, then we need better than this.

“I’m calling on Oxfordshire County Council to complete the work properly and put in place safe crossings to the new store and hotel.”

Andrew Prosser at one of the crossings to the Lidl store

Andrew Prosser at one of the crossings to the Lidl store

The former Lidl store closed on November 4, with the new shop opening the next day.

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said a signalised crossing was not considered to be justifiable or appropriate.

The spokesperson added: “At the time of the application, Oxfordshire County Council discussed the possibility of a formal crossing across the A415 and was informed that a signal crossing would need to be sited approximately 30 to 35 metres from the roundabout to allow space for vehicles to decelerate and wait without causing a hazardous obstruction on the roundabout itself.

“It was considered that a high proportion of pedestrians and cyclists would opt to cross via the traffic island rather than make the detour along the A415 to the crossing.

“Therefore, a signalised crossing was not considered to be justifiable or appropriate.”