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Enq20858249

Reported in the Road Traffic Signs and Road Markings category anonymously at 11:37, Monday 17 February 2020

Sent to Oxfordshire County Council 5 minutes later

The closure of this case was premature as it does not:

1. Tell me the procedure for taking to local council and how the complaint will be investigated 2. It does not explain why this is not an issue for Oxfordshire District council who is ultimately responsible for road markings and designation

Please do not close the case again without fully explaining the procedure as it does not resolve the issue.

Council ref: ENQ20858273

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Updates

  • Thank you for your enquiry. This issue has been passed onto the relevant team for investigation.

    State changed to: Investigating

    Posted by Oxfordshire County Council at 11:41, Monday 17 February 2020

  • In addition I have spoken to West Oxfordshire District Council (reference: WOD00224386) whose response was as follows: 'Oxfordshire County Council Highways is the department you should be talking to about this problem as they deal with this type of enquiry. Only they have the powers to put in speed restrictions on any road . I suggest you got back to them and insist that they take this matter into their hands to try to resolve for you.' I do not appreciate the case being closed when clearly this is a matter for you and needs to be inspected thoroughly given the danger to road users.

    Posted anonymously at 13:36, Monday 17 February 2020

  • I should be grateful if you could resubmit your original concerns so that i may investigate further for you.

    Posted anonymously at 15:20, Wednesday 26 February 2020

  • I wish to raise a complaint about the A4095 in Bladon, specifically the stretch between ‘Lamb Lane’ and ‘The Green’. There is a large volume of heavy goods vehicles using the A4095 to bypass the A40, the stretch described is not wide enough to accommodate heavy vehicles + a car and also has obscured visibility due to a bend: This is causing vehicles to come to extremely sharp stops when encountering heavy goods vehicles as there is not enough width to pass heavy goods vehicles and there is limited reaction time due to visibility around the bend. As a result there is high risk to drivers on this stretch of road, given the speed and size of heavy goods vehicles there is a high risk of fatality not only to car users but to the many recreational cyclists who use the road to access Blenheim and Woodstock and walkers who use the extremely thin pavement where it’s been observed that vehicles have mounted in order to avoid collision. Could I kindly ask that this matter is fully inspected and a weight restriction is imposed on the road to mitigate the risk to all road users.

    Posted anonymously at 18:23, Wednesday 26 February 2020

  • Response from OCC and closed prematurely again:

    This is a recognised problem and has been discussed in the past with the Parish Council. Unfortunately there is little we can do at this time. There is no weight restriction on the A4095 through Bladon. The A4095 is defined in the Oxfordshire Local Transport Plan as Class 3b: County Principal (A) Classified Roads (minor). This is a road considered suitable for important cross- and inter-county traffic where there are relatively lower volumes of mostly local traffic. Weight restrictions can be considered on these types of road where there is a suitable alternative route available. Surveys were carried out on lorries on the A4095 about 10 years ago and this showed that a high proportion of them were using the A4095 to avoid congestion in north Oxford and on A40. This is likely to still be the case today. Unless or until these problems are resolved it is unlikely that a weight restriction on A4095 would be complied with, and therefore it is hard to see that the expenditure on a restriction could be justified. There is at least currently no significant injury accident problem. We often hear the phrase “does someone have to be hurt before any action is taken?” This paragraph is one often quoted. To a degree it is fair to say that the county will not react until there has been an incident. But this does not mean the county are sitting idly by with an unspent budget and waiting. What we are in fact doing is using our scarce resources to try to address sites where there is an existing and ongoing problem. I’m sure you can appreciate that we must prioritise our resources on current problem sites where people may have been hurt rather than on those sites where someone may or may not get hurt in the future. Ideally if budgets were to allow, we would be only too happy to adopt a proactive approach to accident prevention. The sad truth is we are working with our “hands tied” but we endeavour to do the best we can for residents with the resources available. Not an altogether positive reply I do appreciate but I hope it does at least highlight our position.

    State changed to: Fixed

    Posted anonymously at 15:04 today

    Posted anonymously at 18:26, Wednesday 26 February 2020

  • Re point ‘Unfortunately there is little we can do at this time’ - You’re are responsible for the roads and welfare of road users. You are the authority responsible so realistically there is plenty you can do

    Re point ‘surveys were carried out on lorries on the A4095 about 10 years ago and this showed that a high proportion of them were using the A4095 to avoid congestion in north Oxford and on A40. This is likely to still be the case today’ The case has worsened today due to increase in population and building works in the vicinity. The survey clearly needs to be revisited.

    Re point ‘it is unlikely that a weight restriction on A4095 would be complied with’ please find suitable alternative measures which have proven compliance

    Re point ‘There is at least currently no significant injury accident problem’ correction there is no reported accident or injury problem, its not to say it docent exist as proven by the many anecdotal reports on this stretch of road

    Re point ‘ What we are in fact doing is using our scarce resources to try to address sites where there is an existing and ongoing problem’ Clearly that is not the case if there was a survey highlighting this stretch of road 10 years ago, it has worsened. This is is an existing problem spanning a decade and you’ve not addressed it

    Re point ‘I’m sure you can appreciate that we must prioritise our resources on current problem sites where people may have been hurt rather than on those sites where someone may or may not get hurt in the future’ No I do not appreciate that sentiment, the investment to proactively put in place restriction to avoid injury or fatality outweighs the potential cost of life, financially and ethically

    Re point ‘The sad truth is we are working with our “hands tied” but we endeavour to do the best we can for residents with the resources available.’ Who in your organisation has the authority? Please can you arrange a meeting between myself and them after you’ve undertaken a new survey

    Finally please stop closing this case, the problem exists. Just because you’re providing a response does not mean the issue has been resolved.

    Posted anonymously at 18:45, Wednesday 26 February 2020

  • Re point ‘Unfortunately there is little we can do at this time’ - You’re are responsible for the roads and welfare of road users. You are the authority responsible so realistically there is plenty you can do

    It is true, there are measures that could be considered but the consequences and wider impacts of such measures needs very careful consideration. This is not the forum to go into greater detail and I would suggest you contact your Parish Council and or County Councillor whom we work with closely in trying to address such issues.

    Re point ‘surveys were carried out on lorries on the A4095 about 10 years ago and this showed that a high proportion of them were using the A4095 to avoid congestion in north Oxford and on A40. This is likely to still be the case today’ The case has worsened today due to increase in population and building works in the vicinity. The survey clearly needs to be revisited.

    Traffic volumes are only likely to be increasing and we do monitor these. We are currently carrying out an extensive survey of traffic on the A40 corridor and its surrounds.

    Re point ‘it is unlikely that a weight restriction on A4095 would be complied with’ please find suitable alternative measures which have proven compliance

    Implementation and enforcement of a weight restriction is no guarantee that it will lead to a reduction in infractions. A case in point is the A415 at Newbridge. Despite recent improvements to advance signing to steer HGVs away from the restriction and automated enforcement, the number of infractions remains very high.

    Re point ‘There is at least currently no significant injury accident problem’ correction there is no reported accident or injury problem, its not to say it docent exist as proven by the many anecdotal reports on this stretch of road

    When assessing accident rates, anecdotal reports don’t carry much weight. We work on an evidential base backed up by Thames Valley Police reports following injury accidents. Non injury accidents do not generally form part of an analysis protocol.

    Re point ‘ What we are in fact doing is using our scarce resources to try to address sites where there is an existing and ongoing problem’ Clearly that is not the case if there was a survey highlighting this stretch of road 10 years ago, it has worsened. This is is an existing problem spanning a decade and you’ve not addressed it

    The County only have a finite resource and this has to be focussed on proven accident sites. Traffic in general is increasing throughout the country and this includers HGV traffic which has to make its way across the County using appropriate classes of road. I would reiterate the following point - The A4095 is defined in the Oxfordshire Local Transport Plan as Class 3b: County Principal (A) Classified Roads (minor). This is a road considered suitable for important cross- and inter-county traffic where there are relatively lower volumes of mostly local traffic. Weight restrictions can be considered on these types of road where there is a suitable alternative route available.

    Re point ‘I’m sure you can appreciate that we must prioritise our resources on current problem sites where people may have been hurt rather than on those sites where someone may or may not get hurt in the future’ No I do not appreciate that sentiment, the investment to proactively put in place restriction to avoid injury or fatality outweighs the potential cost of life, financially and ethically

    The County are dependent on Central Government for its funding. This funding has to be prioritised on sites with the greatest need as proven by evidential reports. We would love to have funding to be proactive to address potential issues before they might or might not occur but the simple fact is, we are not in this position and despite the perceived danger in Bladon, we have sites with a proven problem where the funding must be prioritised.

    Re point ‘The sad truth is we are working with our “hands tied” but we endeavour to do the best we can for residents with the resources available.’ Who in your organisation has the authority? Please can you arrange a meeting between myself and them after you’ve undertaken a new survey

    We work with the local Parish Council and County Council, you may wish to lobby them.

    Finally please stop closing this case, the problem exists. Just because you’re providing a response does not mean the issue has been resolved.

    Closing the FMS entry does not mean we have stopped considering your request. This site is primarily provided for reporting defects to the highway network, and I dare say you consider this problem as a defect but in practice your request relates more closely to County policies and procedures. If you would like more information on how weight restrictions are developed, I can provide these if you send me an email address. Alternatively if you contact your Parish Council, they could request this info on your behalf.

    State changed to: Fixed

    Posted anonymously at 10:00, Friday 28 February 2020

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