The Wykham Lane/Bloxham Road junction has been a notorious ‘black spot’ since we moved to Banbury in 1959.
My late uncle had a minor collision there in the early 1960s but little damage was done and the matter was not reported. Thames Valley Police refer to only six recorded accidents but I’ll wager there have been many more akin to my uncle’s over the intervening years.
A Royal Mail van was overturned not long ago by the force of a collision impact.
The major components here are visibility and speed: visibility towards Bloxham is good along a half-mile straight descent (uphill speeds are lower for obvious reasons); visibility from Banbury direction is poorer and cars making a turn towards Banbury, across two lanes of traffic, are at greatest risk.
This is because when vehicles travelling towards Bloxham exit the last Saltway bend, the road rises to form a substantial ‘brow’, peaking just beyond the bend.
I’ve seen numerous ‘super-cars’ emerge from that last bend in excess of 60mph – and still accelerating, oblivious to the 3/2/1 flags warning of the junction. At 70mph a car travels 35 yards per second.
At this speed, cars become visible to drivers at Wykham Lane only when rooflines come into view. Grey weather and dark paint colours compound the problem.
If the right-turning driver fails to execute his/her manoeuvre smartly, the high-speed brigade are soon on top of him/her, sometimes with fatal results.
An inexpensive solution would be the imposition of a 40mph speed limit backed up by a speed camera about 30 yards from the first entrance to Wykham Hall. Similarly, the existing 50mph limit from Bloxham could be reduced to 40mph.
High Street Bodicote
School buses: Hear our views
People went along to the public consultation meeting at The Warriner School hoping to get some proper answers to their questions and fears about the county’s plan to cut free bus transport and came away feeling angry, frustrated and patronised.
The meeting was less about consultation and more about the three Oxfordshire County Council representatives having a platform.
When anyone challenged the validity of what was said they were looked down upon and treated with nothing more than contempt. There was no proper debate around the issue and I got the impression this was just a box ticking exercise so they can say they have consulted. The approach these councillors took was nothing short of disgusting and left me and many others feeling very angry and frustrated.
They have a responsibility to their electorate to hear concerns about a subject that will adversely affect so many people in so many ways with a lot more empathy and understanding than was on display last Thursday night.
More letters in this week’s Banbury Guardian