Banbury councillor puts forward motion to improve safety on M40

Councillor Mark Cherry pictured overlooking the M40 in the fog. NNL-160322-115855001
Councillor Mark Cherry pictured overlooking the M40 in the fog. NNL-160322-115855001

A Labour county councillor in Banbury is putting forward a motion to have fog detectors installed on a stretch of the M40 one year after a pile-up involving 37 vehicles.

A man from Woking sadly died in the incident on Valentine’s Day in 2015 and councillor Mark Cherry, who represents Banbury’s Calthorpe ward for Oxfordshire County Council, is submitting the motion at a full meeting on April 5.

Mr Cherry said: “The memory of last year’s pile up in foginvolving 37 vehicles and one fatality is still with us and although an horrendous accident like that is a rarity, there are way too many accidents on the M40 with increased congestion the likely cause.

“The purpose of my motion, which is seeking cross-party support, is for the county council to call on the Secretary of State for Transport to bring forward safety improvements to the carriageway and slip roads.”

The fog detectors would hopefully help to improve road safety issues between junction eight near Oxford and junction 11 at Banbury, where fog sometimes gathers due to the rolling hills near Banbury and Bicester,

Last year’s collision between junctions nine and ten, described by eyewitnesses as being close to ‘absolute bedlam’, was attended by emergency services throughout the day and saw the motorway closed for more than eight hours.

A similar incident happened more than 25 years ago in 1991 when 101 vehicles were involved in a pile-up and firefighters said lessons were learnt from the incident to ensure emergency services are prepared if something like this was to happen again.