NEW speed humps on a main road in Bicester have come under fire after councillors fought against the plans for years.
The “cushions” were put in last week and have split opinions on their effectiveness, with many arguing they are unsafe and not visible enough.
It follows a campaign nearly two years ago to stop the plans when councillors called in the decision by Oxfordshire County Council’s transport chief David Nimmo Smith for up to 16 pairs of humps and up to three puffin crossings in Middleton Stoney Road.
County councillor Les Sibley said: “Every county councillor representing Bicester was against them. It is very difficult for people to see these speed humps, especially in the dark. They need to be clearly marked.
“Drivers either drive between them or position their vehicles as close as possible to the nearside kerb. This could cause accidents to other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
“There are a lot of safety issues and we will continue to do our best to get an improved situation.”
Outline permissions for calming measures given in 2006 are now out of date. Since then, the town has undergone major changes, including the creation of a new 6,000-home eco-town.
Humps alongside the Kingsmere Estate were funded by its developer, Countryside Properties.
Kingsmere Residents’ Association has welcomed the safety measures. It says it has longstanding concerns about the safety of Middleton Stoney Road.
Member Fiona Chalk said: “It has been obvious that pedestrians trying to cross the road have had great difficulty and at times have been risking their safety as a result of the high speed of some drivers, despite the road being 30mph.
“With the move of St Edburg’s Primary School to Kingsmere, ideally all measures would have been completed before Christmas, but it is good to see the changes slowly developing now.
“At present the safety measures, including road markings, are incomplete, so perhaps they are not fully understood by road users.”
So far, 11 pairs of speed humps have gone in between Kings End and the junction with Vendee Drive.
A survey of 88 people by BicesterTAG found 79 per cent thought the positioning was inappropriate and 72 per cent that the white lines and signage were inappropriate.
Co-chairman Sallie Wright said: “I think it is overkill and it is going to push more vehicles down Queens Avenue, which already has air pollution problems. It does not make much sense for what is suppose to be an eco town.”
A county council spokeswoman said: “Temporary white warning triangles have been painted on all the road humps in Middleton Stoney Road, as the recent wet weather has led to delays in the white lines being added.
“There are also ‘Ramp’ warning signs and ‘New Road Layout’ signs in place.
“The road humps are offset to the centre of the road at the moment, as there are on-carriageway cycle lanes being provided as part of these works, which will be defined by a broken white line. Once white lining is complete, the humps will be in the middle of the traffic running lanes. It will then be much clearer as to why the layout is designed as it is.”