Traffic light chaos at busy town junction

The traffic lights at the Oxford Road and Bloxham Road junction in Banbury are out of order. NNL-150414-140428009
The traffic lights at the Oxford Road and Bloxham Road junction in Banbury are out of order. NNL-150414-140428009

Banbury motorists expressed their concerns on the safety of a busy junction in the town centre after its traffic lights stopped working last Friday.

The Oxford Road/Bloxham Road junction is regularly used by drivers travelling into the town centre as well as towards Chipping Norton on the A361 and Oxford on the A4260.

But when the traffic lights stopped working at the end of last week, the junction became a free for all for motorists trying to navigate their way in between oncoming traffic.

In an email to Oxfordshire County Council on Monday, Banbury Guardian reader Peter Monk said: “Traffic signals out of order last Friday, Saturday, Sunday and now Monday. Aren’t key junctions like this monitored and if so why is it taking so long to rectify?

“At the moment it is a free for all, and how pedestrians are coping heaven knows.”

When getting a reply from the council, who mentioned installing temporary lights, Mr Monk added: “Do you not think it is a poor response to be talking about this [temporary traffic lights] four days after the event?”

The issue has been a talking point on the Banbury Guardian Facebook page, with more than 2,500 views. Some people who experienced the traffic chaos shared their thoughts.

Andrew Harrison said: “I was coming down Bloxham Road on Monday towards the lights with the intention of turning left onto South Bar Street to head back to work.

“There was a large 4x4 vehicle in the right lane blocking my view to the right up Oxford Road, and I had a very impatient driver behind me beeping me to go!

“Why can’t people have more patience as without the lights working it obviously becomes effectively an unmarked junction, and in this case it was a blind unmarked junction.”

Temporary traffic lights were put in place by the council on Monday, but drivers using the road this week were still frustrated at the time in which it took for them to be installed.

Chris Wren said: “The traffic was flowing better without the lights. Crossing the road must have been tricky for pedestrians though. Queue at lunchtime with temporary lights stretched back to the Upper Windsor Street junction!”

Ben Dodwell added: “Extremely dangerous. Cars coming down the hill towards the cross are travelling far too fast. Trying to turn left/right from Bloxham Road is an accident waiting to happen!”

Owen Morton, spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We have been working to resolve recurring problems with the traffic lights at this junction in recent days.

“Following investigations by engineers, the electricity supplier has been called in to rectify problems with the power supply, which are believed to be the cause.

“Temporary lights were installed on Monday, and we hope to see the permanent lights restored to working order as soon as possible.”