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Riders criticise road chippings
A driving expert said resurfacing roads with chippings was the “most cost-effective” way of improving surfaces, despite criticism from motorists.
The county council has applied loose chippings to nine roads in the city in the past week and a further 60 across the county.
Motorists are concerned the chippings damage paintwork and accumulate in piles that could unsteady motorcyclists.
However, road-safety experts insisted the chippings have been used to extend the life of roads for decades and are the most cost-effective way to maintain roads at a time when local authority budgets are under increasing pressure.
But Alan Crowder, a biker for 36 years, said: “It is chaos down South Parks Road at the moment “With the piles of stones building up you are chancing your arm when you need to turn in the road.
“It is like a speedway track in parts and it is a real slip hazard for young and inexperienced motorists in particular.
“You need to have your feet down all along the road because if your feet are on the footpegs when you slip you are in real trouble.
The 53-year-old, who bought a new Triumph Spirit bike for £8,500 in January, fears he may have to fork out at least £500 for a respray if loose stones chip the bike’s paintwork.
Hugh Jaeger, the Oxfordshire representative of the British Motorcyclists Federation, said: “It is not a nice surface for any vehicle.
“Car drivers will be worrying about loose chippings hitting the paint and it is very slippy for bikers.
“The roads never seems to be swept enough and the surface always seems to move about and accumulate in piles.”
While the chippings are on the roads the council has erected signs warning of the skid hazard.
A 20mph speed limit has also temporarily been put in place on roads affected to prevent loose chippings scratching paintwork.
Council spokesman Owen Morton said: “Almost every road up and down the country is dressed in this way and it is also carried out across Europe and worldwide.
“Loose chippings are swept away within 24 hours of the initial dressing, and again within three days.
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The chairman of the Oxford group of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Mark McArthur-Christie, said: “It can be a source of frustration to ride along these roads but there really is not another cost-effective option.
“Once the surface settles down, the road surface should be terrific.”
Sections of the following roads have been resurfaced in Oxford: Banbury Road, Hollow Way, South Parks Road, Parks Road, Between Towns Road, Botley Road, Garsington Road, Watlington Road and Rose Hill.
This week the council disclosed it was dealing with a three-fold increase in compensation claims from drivers whose cars had been damaged by potholes.
- New traffic lights on the Botley Interchange roundabout linking the A420 and A34 were activated yesterday after seven weeks of roadworks.
A new pedestrian and cycle crossing has been created on the west exit of the roundabout towards Swindon.
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