Saturday, 31 October 2020

Another crash at blackspot crossroads

ANOTHER crash happened at a crossroads in Binfield Heath — just days before improvement works were due to be carried out.

The incident involving two vehicles occurred at the junction of Emmer Green Road, Sonning Common Road and Harpsden Road at about 10.30am on Monday.

Police attended the scene as well as an ambulance and a fire crew but neither driver required hospital treatment.

The crash comes three months after Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, agreed to implement a series of measures to reduce the risk of future collisions.

Over the years, the junction has seen many accidents, including one that was fatal.

In February, a Hyundai Tuscon and an MG3 were both badly damaged after colliding with the brick wall at the nearby Chapel Cottage.

In May, a Toyota car and a BT Openreach van collided at the crossroads. Both vehicles left the road and smashed the same garden wall.

In response, the county council agreed to install:

• A new entrance gateway feature labelled “Coppid Crossroads”

• Advanced crossroads map signs.

• Enhanced “Stop” signs with a fluorescent border

• New “dragon’s teeth” road markings.

It will also paint “SLOW” markings on the road surface and repaint any existing markings which are worn.

County councillor David Bartholomew, who went to inspect the scene after Monday’s crash, said he hoped the measures would have the desired effect.

He said: “The site has suffered from several accidents over the last couple of years.

“Each time it has been looked at by highways officers and assessed and everything has been compliant, so it is a mystery why these accidents keep occurring.

“In theory, there should be no accidents but the brutal reality is there are a lot, which is why I insisted on these additional measures and hopefully they will be successful. It is something I will be keeping a very close eye on.”

Paul Rollason, chairman of Binfield Heath Parish Council, said the problem had been going on for more than a decade.

He said: “Ironically, the improvement work was supposed to start this week.

“We can’t understand why these extra measures are necessary but it is clear they are. This was at least the third accident this year.

“I saw someone drive straight over the junction a couple of years ago.

“It is just a mystery really as to why people can’t stop at a ‘Stop’ sign. They are on posts and ‘STOP’ is painted on the road surface but it is not being seen.

“We haven’t been helped in any way by Thames Valley Police coming up with any facts and figures as to how the accidents occur or why they occur.

“The improvement works are fairly substantial changes and the junction will look very different, so I am hoping that will solve the problem.”

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