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T-junction branded ‘death trap’
Published 27/01/14

A T-JUNCTION has been branded a “death trap” by a resident.

Bolts Cross, which is on the B481 between Peppard and Rotherfield Greys, was the scene of two accidents over the Christmas period.

Brian Passey, who lives opposite the junction, has called for safety measures to be introduced, claiming he is at risk every time he leaves his house in his car.

“It’s a death trap,” he said. “We’ve had a succession of accidents on the junction and something should have been done years ago. You put your life in other people’s hands when you pull out of the junction.”

Mr Passey, 79, has counted 10 accidents at the junction in the 12 years since he moved there with his late wife Anne, including one about nine years ago in which a motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a lorry.

“A year ago, we had a car that went into the ditch on the other side of the road and was lying on its side,” he said.

Mr Passey says the problem is drivers on the B481 go too fast in both directions — towards either Peppard or Highmoor — while others are trying to pull into the road from Greys Road.

A year ago, the speed limit was reduced from 60mph to 40mph. Mr Passey said: “It was like being at Silverstone. Now we’ve got the 40mph restriction but not everyone takes note of that. Across the common from Peppard it’s all 30mph. Then you get past Manor Farm and the restrictions are lifted.”

He said that just before Christmas there was a crash involving three vehicles in which a car damaged the fence of his neighbour Nigel Hawkins.

There was a second accident a few weeks later and he found the debris, including a headlight, bumper and wheel trim, on the grass verge.

Mr Passey, who lives with his second wife Sally, said: “Before I came here the people who lived in the house facing the junction had been trying to get speed restrictions on the road.

“There have been a number of times when I’ve been pulling out of the drive as I’m turning left and people flash their lights and toot but they are going too fast.”

Mr Passey says he never attempts to turn right out of his drive or go straight on towards Rotherfield Greys and instead prefers to take the longer way round past the Lamb at Satwell.

He said: “I wouldn’t dare go straight ahead because cars come flying round the bend.” Mr Passey would like a roundabout at the junction but says that a flashing vehicle-activated sign would alleviate the problem.

He said: “What it needs more than anything is to have a police presence at the junction. That would make people more aware of their speed.”

“Our old neighbours were told that there couldn’t be restrictions on the road because it can’t be monitored by the police but any road can be monitored.”

Jenny Gladman, a marketing assistant for Mr Passey’s home-based business, said she was always nervous when arriving or leaving work.

“It’s vital that something is done,” she said. “I take a deep breath and hope for the best whenever I come out of the junction.

“My husband gets very worried about me driving in and out because people go so fast down there. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Peppard Parish Council has agreed to ask Oxfordshire county councillor David Bartholomew to use his councillor’s community budget to conduct a traffic survey on that stretch of the B481. It wants to find out whether the change in speed limit has had an effect.

Council chairman David Hammond said: “We’ve had a number of accidents there. Traffic comes from Highmoor without slowing down and comes past Peppard Common faster than 30mph.”

Published 27/01/14

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