A TRIAL closure of an access point to the Risinghurst estate is proving controversial before it even begins.

From Monday, the access gap in the central reservation at the junction with Collinwood Road will be shut to traffic.

Oxfordshire County Council made the decision after safety concerns were raised by local residents.

In the past five years there have been five serious and three slight injury accidents involving vehicles turning right from the A40 into Collinwood Road.

The traffic order which allows the county council to block off the junction will remain in force for 18 months, although the council may review and drop the trial at any point.

Opinions were divided over whether the closure was a good idea or not, ahead of the trial starting.

Risinghurst and Sandhills Parish Council chairman Yvonne Lowe said: “This is what people on the estate have asked for because there have been so many accidents there with people trying to get across.

“Children on the estate try and use it to get across the A40 but we are hoping it will make the whole of Risinghurst safer.

“And it is only a temporary measure to see how things are affected.”

Motorists will be able to access Risinghurst via Kiln Lane while drivers hoping to go from the estate towards London will have to use the Green Road roundabout.

But local county councillor Roz Smith has expressed some concerns.

She said: “A lot of people who contacted me were concerned about the fact that it will put more traffic on the Green Road roundabout.

“And some people feel it will make traffic along the A40 even faster.”

County councillor Rodney Rose, the cabinet member for transport, said the trial was agreed following an initial request from local county councillor Liz Brighouse, supported by a letter from the parish council.

He said: “We understand that for some people the Collinwood Road access point represents the most convenient way for them to get in and out of Risinghurst, but we also have a responsibility to look into road safety issues when such concerns are raised locally.

“The accident history at this entry point is certainly something we have to consider seriously.

“We will listen to the feedback we get from residents and motorists who are familiar with the junction, before taking any further decisions.”