Thursday, 9 July 2015

How Oxfordshire County Council Can Improve Transport for Headington

Oxfordshire County Council is inviting the public to offer comments and ideas for improving transport in Headington and Marston. It has announced that it has a budget of £12.5 million for doing so. The money comes in part from a government local development fund and in part from local developers, who are required to contribute in exchange for planning permission.
I would like to suggest that they spend the £12.5 million undoing all the stupid, obstructive and exasperating "improvements" they have carried out in recent years.

Image result for Headington London Road

It would be nice if they would remove the forest of ugly 20 mph signs that now deface the townscape. There may come a day when even a county councillor may need to drive at 60 mph to get a child or loved-one to a hospital, and their life may depend on it. Then it would be nice if they removed all the ridiculous speed bumps that they have constructed everywhere, in perverse negation of centuries of advance in road-building. The drivers of the local bus all agree that the speed bumps at the corner of Margaret Road and Wharton Road are lethal. The passengers need to be issued with sea-sickness pills to survive the effects.
Next, what about removing most of the traffic lights along the London Road? Thirty years ago you could drive or take a bus up from the city centre in ten minutes, Now it takes all day. Each set of traffic lights costs a fortune to operate, causing (if you care) immense CO2 emissions, and while traffic is loitering at each successive obstruction it pours out pollution into the atmosphere. There are examples of cities where, for an experiment, they have shut down all the traffic lights, and the result has been no rise in the number of accidents.

And if people need to cross the London Road, what about using this money to put back the pedestrian subway that was so stupidly, perversely destroyed as part of the County Council's last major road "improvements"? I will never forget Mick Haines patiently canvassing thousands and thousands of signatures in favour of keeping that safe crossing, signatures that were blatantly ignored by the idiots who run the County Council.  They pushed on with their famous road-widening scheme that did not, in the end, make the road any wider, and poured tons of rubble into the underpass.

It would cost far more than £12.5 million to get rid of all the County Council's stupid ideas for transport all over Oxford  - the bloody silly pavement extensions that jut out into the road just to impede vehicles, the irritating little mini-roundabouts, the bollards everywhere, and the pedestrianised centre that means it always takes longer than it should to get from one side of the town to the other.
Ideally they would uninstall the whole lot, then collectively resign and abolish their own jobs so that no one could take up where they left off.

There is some information on Oxfordshire County Council's website:

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