Redesigned junction is “an accident waiting to happen”

May 3, 2021

first_imgThe junction between Hythe Street and George Street has been reopened after 3 months of roadworks and amidst widespread concerns for cyclist safety.Its new design has drawn criticism for a lack of signposting and an unfortunate traffic light system, which could endanger cyclists using the roads.Oxford’s own Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) have sent out an email to local cycling groups warning about the lack of clarity at the junction. The organisation, along with Cyclox, had previously met with the council as part of the consultation process regarding the redesign, but since the reopening of the new layout have expressed further concerns about the dangers posed to cyclists due to several of the planned signs not being ready in time.Cyclists have been left confused by the loss of the popular Hythe Bridge Street to George Street route, due to the absence of a planned sign which excluded bikes from having to follow the one way system imposed on other vehicles.All traffic coming off Hythe Bridge Street is therefore directed left towards Beaumont Street. The absence of the planned sign exempting cyclists makes the popular route from Hythe Bridge Street onto George Street illegal.Perhaps more pressingly, concerns have been raised about the traffic light system, which, when the route is re-legalised, will potentially direct cyclists into oncoming traffic.James Dawton of Oxford’ City’s CTC stated that, following their previous consultations with the council, “How the end result appeared is quite beyond me. Cycling straight across from Hythe Bridge Street into George Street ona green light puts cyclists directly into the path of traffic coming from the left which also has a green light at the same time.“Thus two conflicting streams of traffic have simultaneous green lights, so it is an accident waiting to happen.”The Council has in response installed ‘new road layout ahead’ signs to warn cyclists of the redesign.The redevelopment project was intended to revitalise Frideswide Square, and create a more welcoming first impression of the city to visitors arriving at the nearby train station.Ironically it was also designed to help improve cyclist and pedestrian access to the area, and to reduce congestion. The impact and risk of this redesign will likely be felt most keenly by the returning student body of the University. Balliol College student and resident of the area, Georgia Irwin, disagreed with the new layout, telling Cherwell, “Idon’t understand why the junction had to be changed. As a cyclist, it always seemed perfectly fine before these new changes.”The junction is located in an area frequented by students. Residents of both Worcester and Mansfield college live locally to the junction, whilst attendees of the University’s Saïd Business School are also frequent users. For manystudents, the junction is also an unavoidable stop on the way to the nightlife offered in the area around the square, namely Bridge, Wahoo, Park End, and Plush All are located past the junction for students coming from Jericho, Cowley or the City Centre.The Oxford CTC have also expressed concern for student welfare at the new junction, suggesting students now treat the junction as a “crossroads, with all the dangers that involves.” They have particularly expressed concern for students travelling from the vicinity of Worcester College towards the Saïd Business School or Railway Station.Oxford Council’s Highways were not available for comment at time of publication.last_img

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