A ROUNDABOUT that has become notorious for road accidents still remains a problem, a Bicester councillor has said.

Numerous calls have been made in recent years for improvements to Vendee Drive roundabout on the A41.

Last summer, senior coroner for Oxfordshire Darren Salter sent a report to Oxfordshire County Council – the highways authority – urging it to take action, after the conclusion of an inquest into the death of David Lewis who died at the scene of a crash at the roundabout in 2020.

Since then, the council has installed additional 40mph roundels on the road and amended the chevron signage on the roundabout to warn drivers.

The council added: “We are looking at other potential measures, including moving the bus exit and installing traffic signals at the roundabout, although signalising would require wider consideration as part of the Local Plan Review into the growth of Bicester.”

Bicester Advertiser: Vendee Drive roundabout. Pic: Ed NixVendee Drive roundabout. Pic: Ed Nix

But Bicester county councillor Ian Corkin, who called for traffic lights to be installed at the junction two years ago, said it is likely more accidents will happen because not enough safety measures have been installed.

He said: “The roundabout remains a problem and it will only get worse as the developments around Charles Shouler Way open up. Oxfordshire County Council did make some changes; they extended the 50 and 40mph stretches northbound and made sure the signs were compliant.

“It also remains very frustrating that council transport planners have failed to secure developer contributions to signalise this lethal roundabout. Sadly, it's only a matter of time before the coroner will have another opportunity to comment.”

The county council said it also installed hard standing on the A41 northbound carriageway last year to allow Thames Valley Police to carry out speed enforcement. The police force confirmed enforcement has been carried out from this location since January 2021.

Bicester Advertiser: Vendee Drive roundabout, Bicester. Pic: Ed NixVendee Drive roundabout, Bicester. Pic: Ed Nix

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Three people died after crashing at the junction in the space of 13 months.

David Lewis died on July 16, 2020 after Bicester couple Kenneth Jarvis, 77, and Gillian Jarvis, 80, both died at the roundabout in June 2019.

There was also a fatal crash on the A41 in August 2018, when 29-year-old Thomas Nelson’s BMW careered off the busy dual carriageway and smashed into a tree.

Co-chair of Bicester Traffic Action Group (BTAG), Jan Harvey, says speed cameras would help prevent accidents rather than traffic lights.

ALSO READ: List of crashes at Bicester roundabout 'would take too long'

"Personally I would like fixed speed cameras installed, these have proven very effective. Lumbertubs Way in Northampton was a race track and dangerous, it isn’t any more," she said.

She added: “Traffic lights at roundabouts are used to increase capacity not as a safety measure. There are more collisions at Rodney House roundabout because of the lights.

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