Dad calls for traffic review after child's near-miss on Banbury crossing

A parent has called for a revamp of Banbury’s roads after a series of near misses.

The father, who does not want to be named, said rush hour congestion is leading to more dangerous incidents.

The crossing at Banbury Cross and the scooter under the cars wheels

The crossing at Banbury Cross and the scooter under the cars wheels

In the latest near miss, the dad said he watched in horror as the boy, aged about ten, was nearly run over by a car going over a pedesrian crossing at the Cross on South Bar.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said officers had attended the incident but there was no further investigation.

“The boy was crossing slowly on his own on a scooter. My photo shows clearly the car has gone across the zebra crossing with the scooter still wedged under its front wheel,” said the dad.

He said the driver got straight out of the car to help.

The zebra crossing by Banbury Cross where the accident happened

The zebra crossing by Banbury Cross where the accident happened

“The boy was OK. Passers-by, including me and the driver, stayed with him until an ambulance arrived.

“It seems he just had scratches and bruises - he mostly managed to jump out the way, so the car ran over his scooter rather than him but he did have a nasty gash on his leg which may have come from the impact. I gave a statement to the police.”

The witness said a worker from a nearby office reported frequently seeing accidents on the zebra crossing.

“I’m a parent who takes my daughter to the Child First Nursery most days and I have had two near misses with drivers on their mobile phones not stopping as I have crossed the zebra crossing with a pram,” he said.

“The rush hour congestion is now so bad and driver behaviour so negligent that something must be done about this.

“The only solution is for Banbury to invest properly in walking and cycling infrastructure - safe, segregated cycle lanes, separated from the traffic - not just painted lanes that drivers ignore.

“I would also like to make it clear that this wasn’t a hit and run. The blame for me mostly lies with the council for not giving us viable transport alternatives. The roads get worse and worse.

“I would like to be able to walk and cycle throughout Banbury and feel safe - and for children to feel safe on the walk to school. Surely that is the minimum one can expect from a local council.”

County councillor for the Banbury Cross and Neithrop ward, Cllr Hannah Banfield, said: “I am very concerned to hear of this accident and I hope the child has made a full recovery after his frightening and painful ordeal.

“I am concerned to hear (office) staff and members of the public have witnessed other accidents and near misses at this zebra crossing.

“I will liaise with the Highways Department and ask officers to investigate properly the option of replacing it with a Toucan crossing if at all financially possible.

"Toucan crossings have traffic lights and can be used for pedestrians and cyclists and I feel this option will make this location safer.

“I will also liaise with the community policing team in Banbury over the safety of this crossing and vehicle drivers’ behaviour in this location.”

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said walking connections in the town will be part of its 'local transport plan' review, which is about to start, but it is not possible to say whether any changes would be possible.