New safety measures to be installed at accident blackspot

A number of collisions have taken place already this year at the Coppid crossroads near Binfield Heath where Emmer Green Road, Sonning Common Road and Harpsden Road meet.

The most recent took place on May 15 and involved a Toyota car and a BT Openreach van. Both vehicles left the road and smashed through the garden wall of a nearby cottage.

In February, a Hyundai Tuscon and an MG3 were both badly damaged after colliding with the same wall on the corner of Emmer Green Road.

The junction has seen many more accidents over the years, including one that was fatal.

Now Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, is 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.

Councillor David Bartholomew, who represents the village on the council, said action was needed.

He said: “I have had ongoing discussions with council officers about this site over the last couple of years because there have been repeated accidents and we have had interim measures actioned.

“We have had signage improvement, white lines refreshed and vegetation cut back but the accidents have continued, much to the concern of local people and the parish council.”

He said engineers had inspected the junction many times after previous collisions and found the road markings, signage and visibility to be sufficient.

“In theory, everything met the guidelines but the accidents were continuing so we had to take action,” said Cllr Bartholomew.

“I got officers to do a further evaluation in the context of the most recent accidents and they liaised with the police to get more details and undertook further site visits. This is a belt and braces approach and hopefully it will cure the problem. I have been very determined on behalf of the community to get a result here and really don’t want to see any more accidents.”

He said the cost and the timescale for the new work had not yet been finalised but it was deemed a priority.

Cllr Bartholomew said: “This is a comprehensive package of measures and I hope will be introduced in the near future.

“Officers are awaiting final costs from approved contractors but most of the pieces are in place.”

Paul Rollason, chairman of Binfield Heath Parish Council, said: “The proposed changes would certainly give the junction more impact and draw the driver’s attention.

“We are very confident that these measures will make a difference.

“I think we have put a lot of pressure on the county council’s highways team.

“May’s accident was the secon there in six weeks and there were two last year as well, which is too many. We just felt something had to be done.

“The accidents appear to be similar, whereby people fail to stop.

“It is a matter of trying to find a way of drawing attention to the junction and hopefully this will do it.”