A ROUNDABOUT in Bicester could be scrapped and replaced with a signalised crossroads junction in a bid to prepare for more traffic.

Oxfordshire County Council is seeking permission from Cherwell District Council to redevelop the A4095/B4100 Banbury Road roundabout in the north of the town.

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It is one of the key junctions along the western ring road and improvements are proposed so that the road can better support an increase in vehicles as more housing and developments are built in the area.

The project would see the roundabout removed and a four-arm crossroads junction installed with traffic lights and three- and two-lane entries.

Bicester Advertiser: Plan for proposed crossroads junction on Banbury Road, Bicester. Pic by Oxfordshire County CouncilPlan for proposed crossroads junction on Banbury Road, Bicester. Pic by Oxfordshire County Council

It would also have two pedestrian and cyclist crossings, but cycling action group Bicester Bike Users Group says this isn’t enough and that the proposed design prioritises vehicles over pedestrians and cyclists.

George Bennett, chair of Bicester Bike Users Group (Bicester BUG) said: “The present design is something of a fudge in that it prioritises motor vehicle traffic while making some allowances for people on foot or bike.

“There will be decent crossings over two of the arms, but nothing on the other two arms. Given the increasing focus on safety, health, efficiency, and the environment, there really should have been good crossings in all directions, but Rome was not built in a day.”

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Bicester BUG however says it worked with local councillors and Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for highways Tim Bearder to iron out some safety concerns it initially had with the design.

Bicester Advertiser: Banbury Road roundabout. Pic: Ed NixBanbury Road roundabout. Pic: Ed Nix

George added: "The county highways officers explored more user-friendly junction designs than high-speed roundabouts and explored how pedestrians and cyclists might navigate it. Overall, the emphasis is still heavily car-centric, but we are hopeful that this is a move towards a more balanced transport policy suitable for a healthy Bicester.”

The county council put forward three options to the public in a consultation about how the roundabout could be redeveloped.

The first option was to make the junction bigger to provide space for more vehicles.

The second was the crossroads junction - which is being proposed - and the third option was to turn it into a CYCLOPS junction which is a type of signal-controlled intersection which includes a segregated cycle track.

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The consultation revealed the majority of people preferred the first scheme, which the council did not choose.

A council spokesperson said: "Option 2 was further developed and improved and the preferred option increases the vehicular capacity of the junction to a similar level as option 1 and 2.

"We need to balance the needs of all road users and invest in transport infrastructure, including the walking and cycling network, that encourages sustainable travel and helps to reduce congestion."

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