DRIVERS are failing to spot a new roundabout that has been the site of two serious collisions, one of which left people paralysed, an ambulance chief has warned.

South Central Ambulance Service’s operational manager, Alan Weir, spoke out about the design and visibility of the roundabout on the A41 between Bicester Village and junction nine of the M40 – at the entrance to the new Kingsmere housing estate.

Paramedics have attended seven collisions in nine weeks since it opened.

Mr Weir said the collisions happened because the roundabout was to the side of a previously straight road.

The road used to be governed by the national speed limit and motorists have questioned whether signs showing the drop to 40mph and 20mph were clear enough.

New signs have been installed and Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, is considering more.

Mr Weir said: “We have had seven calls in a very short number of weeks on a road which previously attracted no calls.

“In both of the most serious cases, people have gone over the roundabout because they had not been aware of it.

At night, it is not particularly easy to see. There’s no illumination there.”

He said an accident at 9.45pm on Saturday, May 28, left two Bedfordshire people paralysed and another two with serious injuries. Last Saturday morning, a driver suffered head and back injuries after being thrown from his car.

Mr Weir said: “It was a piece of straight road that people used to drive down at 70mph with no obstruction.

“The new road layout has taken a lot of people by surprise, and it is still taking people by surprise, despite the signs.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport, Rodney Rose, said: “Following the serious incident on May 28, extra warning signs were erected at the request of county council officers, and we are in contact with the contractor and Thames Valley Police regarding traffic management at the site.”

He said warning signs had been placed further from the roundabout and the council was considering installing signs which flash if the driver exceeds the speed limit.