Banbury villagers' road anger boiled over on election day as serious injury was narrowly missed

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Banbury villagers' anger boiled over on election day last week as a lorry driver narrowly escaped serious injury at a traffic blackspot.

Farthinghoe residents who have been campaigning for decades for a bypass, took to social media to express fury after a steel girder almost went through an HGV windscreen as two vehicles met at the notorious pinch point on the A422.

The incident happened on Thursday. Other narrow lanes were blocked entirely by lorries trying to avoid the closed road.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

One villager vented their anger on Facebook saying: “Many people have said Farthinghoe won't get a bypass until someone dies on the current road. Well today – on polling day - they nearly did. If that steel girder was two feet lower, the massive traffic chaos would have been the least of our concerns.”

Emergency services close the road while the heavy steel girder is removed from the roof of an HGV in FarthinghoeEmergency services close the road while the heavy steel girder is removed from the roof of an HGV in Farthinghoe
Emergency services close the road while the heavy steel girder is removed from the roof of an HGV in Farthinghoe

A flat-bed truck carrying RSJs met a heavy goods vehicle on the 90 degree bend, where the carriageway narrows. The steel girder lodged itself on the cab roof, inches above the driver’s window.

“This very lucky escape for the HGV driver is no coincidence whilst £50 billion is spent ripping up the countryside around us for a train line no one asked for.

“This is a real issue for our school, our children, villages, safety, people's sleep and health, local businesses and the Silverstone Grand Prix. Imagine this had happened on any of the next three days (of the British Grand Prix)? One access road for HS2 workers would cost the same as a bypass (for Farthinghoe). Please, ask yourself, why one has been funded and the other not?” the author said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Politicians have been promising a solution for many years. I've only been here a short time, but the politicians have been from one party and have basically reflected their leadership nationally – bluster, broken promises and lies.

Serious congestion occurred on the A422 when the steel girders collided with the lorry cab roof last ThursdaySerious congestion occurred on the A422 when the steel girders collided with the lorry cab roof last Thursday
Serious congestion occurred on the A422 when the steel girders collided with the lorry cab roof last Thursday

"After today's near fatal accident, I shall re-double my support of the amazing work (Parish Council chairman) Mick Morris does on our behalf. Whichever politician gets in locally, we need to all come together to show them that the behaviour of their predecessors is not acceptable. It is the only way things will get done.”

Following the accident on the A422 the traffic queues diverted onto the narrow Queen Street and New Road and blocked them completely. Meanwhile others in cars tried to perform three point turns to escape the blockage.

Conservative Candidate Sarah Bool (who was confirmed as MP for the South Northants constituency after the polls closed) told the Banbury Guardian before the election: "I am committed to finding a solution for the local community in Farthinghoe, who have had to endure decades of incidents, accidents and delays as a result of the pinch point in the middle of the village on the A422.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I understand that the latest business case review from West Northants Council (WNC) has said that a bypass of the village would not represent value for taxpayers’ money and as such that project is not currently being progressed.

Lorries attempt to bypass the holdup on the A422 by driving through Farthinghoe's narrow lanes causing a total blockageLorries attempt to bypass the holdup on the A422 by driving through Farthinghoe's narrow lanes causing a total blockage
Lorries attempt to bypass the holdup on the A422 by driving through Farthinghoe's narrow lanes causing a total blockage

"Other ideas such as a weight restriction or de-trunking the road are still on the table and, if elected, I will work with WNC and the local community to find a solution for the traffic issues in Farthinghoe."