Here are the answers by councillors to questions raised at yesterday evening’s Headington Ward Focus Meeting about the new crossing.
Osler Road uncontrolled crossing
Why is it needed?
High number of minor safety incidents
Why introduce it at such short notice?
Funding became available. It was considered best value to the taxpayers and provide least disturbance to residents during the Easter school holiday period
Why no consultation?
There were plans to put in a toucan crossing here from the outset, and many responses were received for this from the community, but it fell out of scope when money got tight. It went back in as priority once funding was available due to safety concerns
Who comes up with options for road crossings?
Amec Foster Wheeler provide alternative options and explain which ones are most feasible in their view in response to a spec from the County Council.
What spec was given?
A broad one. Controlled or uncontrolled crossings, either directly across the road or staggered.
Does the County Council have to go with the Amec recommendation?
No. This plan was subject to quite a lot of debate and challenges were made by the safety team in order to find the best option
Was money a factor in coming up with an uncontrolled, rather than a controlled, crossing?
Absolutely not. Safety concerns were prioritized. It wasn’t possible for a straight controlled crossing to be put in without a second set of lights, and the synching of these and delays to public transport made this prohibitive. A staggered crossing would result in further wait for pedestrians, and the size of the island would block movement into Osler Road
- Original provision showed a toucan crossing incorporating the bus gate, after developing the design further it was determined that a controlled crossing could not be delivered safely.
- Alternatives were considered, including a zebra, which had similar safety concerns.
- The best alternative was to provide an uncontrolled crossing, incorporating a build out to shorten the crossing and providing a refuge in the middle of the road
- There remains a broad local support for pedestrian provision in this location but bus companies are understandably concerned that the changes may affect the level of bus priority they receive with this latest proposal and the County is engaging with them to mitigate their concerns. There may be an additional delay of 28-40 seconds on the way into Headington from the City Centre but this is considered worthwhile because of the safety concerns at that location
Will the crossing be used by cyclists as well as pedestrians?
It is first and foremost a pedestrian crossing. It would technically be possible for cyclists to dismount, use the crossing and then resume cycling in the cycle lane opposite.
Who has been informed?
Letters to The Occupier at addresses in London Road between the garage and the controlled pedestrian crossing/lights have been sent by a distribution company.
Councillors are concerned about this as not all tenants in flats above shops may see the notification. We are also concerned that people in Osler Road, New High Street and Lime Walk have not been circulated, and we shall contact these residents ourselves.
Have the bus companies been informed?
Yes. See answer above
Will this affect community projects?
It will not affect the greening project, the Headington Market, or the trees with the Christmas lights
Will any trees have to be taken out?
When will it happen?
It’s already started. Here is the approximate timetable, subject to weather conditions:
w/b 24 March Footway works
w/b 3 April 2-way lights (for 2 weeks). Works area will take up half the road
w/b 17 April Narrow lane running (for 2 weeks)
Where will construction space be?
3 parking bays have been suspended in Lime Walk near KwikFit
Will there be works at weekends?
Yes on Saturday mornings.
For more information, please see the Access to Headington website
Your councillors called for the introduction of a safer pedestrian crossing at this point in the initial consultation, but were hoping that a controlled crossing option could be found. Traffic will be slow in the centre of Headington during April. We are concerned that there has been insufficient notice given to those affected although we understand the reasoning given, and we feel that residents in adjoining roads should have been leafleted. However we welcome much-needed safety improvements for pedestrians at such a busy location.