Oxford residents feel ‘vulnerable’ after A40 crossroads crash

By Katie WapleBBC News • Noor QurashiLocal Democracy Reporting Service

Barton Park Crossing residents group A lorry crashing into a car on the A40 junction at Barton ParkBarton Park Crossing residents group

The driver of the Toyota is still in hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries

Residents have said they feel “vulnerable” after a car crash damaged a set of traffic lights, leaving no safe way to cross a 50mph (80km/h) road for two days.

The crash happened at the Barton Park crossing of the A40 junction in Headington, Oxford, at 06:50 BST on Monday.

Arian Beqiri, from Barton Park Community Group, said: “Our campaign group has been lobbying to make the crossing safer for five years and nothing has happened.”

Oxfordshire County Council said it had marshals to help people cross the ring road while the traffic lights were repaired.

Thames Valley Police said they received a report of a road traffic collision involving a DAF truck and Toyota Corolla.

A spokesperson said: “The driver of the Toyota is still in hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries and the other driver was not injured.”

Arian Beqiri, standing at the crossing in a red jumper

Local resident Arian Beqiri said it is an “incredibly dangerous junction”

Mr Beqiri explained: “Pedestrians are at risk because of the way the crossing is designed, standing waiting to cross whilst cars blast by at 50mph is really dangerous.

“The buttons to cross the road are really close to the curb and the speed limit is too high.”

He added a previous road safety audit showed vehicles sometimes travelled faster than 50mph, with some running red lights and doing U-turns.

“A camera and signage has put a stop to motorists doing U-turns at the junction.”

Google A40 junction - dangerous crossingGoogle

The Barton Park crossing at the A40 junction, in Oxfordshire

Mr Beqiri said: “We are fairly sure there is going to be a serious incident, possibly even a fatality.”

The community group said it would like to see the crossing buttons moved back, the speed limit dropped to 30mph (50km/h) and speed cameras added.

Bryony Shaw, headteacher at Barton Park Primary School, described the crossing as a “big concern” and added it had become “quite frightening to cross”.

She said: “A couple of parents have said that they have considered moving their children to schools on the other side of the ring road… it’s incredibly frustrating.”

Bryony Shaw, headteacher wearing sage green jumper

Bryony Shaw said she is “frustrated” it’s taking so long to make the area safer for children

The county council’s highways chief and Liberal Democrat councillor, Andrew Gant, insisted he was “engaged very thoroughly” with the issue.

“I have attended meetings in Barton Park to hear concerns first-hand from residents,” he said.

Conservative county councillor Liam Walker said: “I cannot believe the road safety issues around the Barton Park estate are still ongoing.”

Labour councillor Duncan Enright from Oxfordshire County Council added: “The Labour councillors are extremely frustrated at the lack of progress in finding a way to make it safe for residents to get out and about.”

Green councillor Ian Middleton said: “We would always support infrastructure to prioritise pedestrian and cycle safety, especially in new areas of residential development like this.”

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