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Estate residents back reopening of A40 exit
AN ESTATE is waiting for answers from the county’s new transport boss on whether a junction on the A40 will be reopened.
The gap in the carriageway – which allows drivers to enter and exit Risinghurst from Collinwood Road – has been shut since May last year.
Laurence Baxter, an Oxford City councillor for the estate, said he emailed the Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for transport David Nimmo-Smith to ask what he intended to do. He said he had yet to receive a reply.
The break in the A40 barrier, which allowed drivers to join the road out of Oxford from the estate, was blocked with red and white barricades after the county ruled it was dangerous.
Mr Baxter, a Labour councillor, said: “It looks a mess, but if you live down that part of Risinghurst it blocks off that route.
“It’s a big issue in our area. I was knocking on doors in Risinghurst and lots of people were raising it.
“What people have always wanted is proper traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing. And bearing in mind there is a traffic light further down, I don’t think it would have that much impact on the traffic.”
He added: “We want to know either way.”
Last July, former transport head Rodney Rose warned estate residents that the council did not have the money to convert it into a crossing. He said a crossing with lights would cost £150,000.
But Mahesh Gandhi, of Risinghurst Post Office and General Store, said the gap closure had hit his business, losing him 10 per-cent in takings.
He said: “We have fewer customers coming but we have to take it. We have no second choice.
“They should tell people what they are planning. A lot of people are concerned about it.”
Mr Nimmo-Smith, cabinet member for the environment, told the Oxford Mail he was expecting to make a decision in cabinet in October or November.
He said: “I am aware of the issues but I am awaiting the officers’ report on whether it should be opened or stay closed.”
He said he had not noticed Mr Baxter’s email as he received so many, adding: “I am sorry but it probably got buried.”
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