CAMPAIGNERS have praised a move to put forward plans for safer road crossings in Bicester after a battle from residents.

A community crusade has been putting pressure on Oxfordshire County Council to rethink provision for pedestrians in Middleton Stoney Road, which residents say currently cuts off the Kingsmere estate from the rest of the town as it is not safe enough to cross.

Plans for additional pedestrian crossings have since been proposed by council officers in response to the pleas.

Graham Brogden, chairman of Kingsmere Residents Association which has been helping head up the campaign, said: “We are encouraged by such positive progress.

"Together we will be able to secure the much anticipated crossing and pathway improvements.

“Whilst it is unfortunate that residents have to campaign for such things to safeguard pedestrians of all ages we recognise the pressure the council is under.”

The initial pleas sparked a review from Oxfordshire County Council highways department, which conducted a number of surveys in the area to look at how many people are crossing Middleton Stoney Road.

The results showed the number of pedestrians crossing near the junction with Villiers Road in 12 hours on a weekday was 135 people, with 70 people during the same time period at the weekend.

Campaigner Margaret Kunzer, headteacher of St Edburg’s School in Pioneer Way, recently said parents have often told her they are put off walking to and from the school across Middleton Stoney Road over safety fears.

Mrs Kunzer said: "We have some 70 pupils who currently travel from Kings End and need to cross the road.

"Parents have also expressed their concerns about this dangerous road and would be very relieved to see a controlled crossing in place.

"The situation is urgent and we are all hoping that a controlled crossing is in place before the end of the summer. "

The council has said it is looking at providing a controlled or zebra crossing over Middleton Stoney Road near Villiers Road.

It is also examining the possibility of providing pedestrian and cycle links between Kingsmere and the rest of the town, including a new footway and cycle way on the western side of the Oxford Road from Pingle Drive up to the Middleton Stoney Road.

County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “This scheme will also include the provision of a new central refuge for pedestrians on Middleton Stoney Road immediately west of the roundabout.

“However, this scheme requires further design work before the exact details are finalised.

“We are currently working with developers and the district council to identify appropriate funding sources to pay for the crossing in addition to utilising funds already obtained through developer contributions.”

Mr Brogden added: “We are therefore very grateful that through collaboration we are able to move this forward for the benefit of all residents and look forward to a successful completion of this scheme.”