A roundabout in Oxford notoriously dangerous for vulnerable road users, and which underwent major safety works following the death of a cyclist last year, is to have a camera installed to catch and fine drivers ignoring road signs and continuing to make a banned dangerous manoeuvre.
Dr Ling Felce, a University of Oxfordshire researcher was killed at the roundabout in March 2022 — the collision caused by the unlicensed, uninsured driver of a 32-tonne tipper truck, who was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the fatal incident.
The collision prompted campaigners to urgently call for road improvements, with the council listening to the appeals and soon after banning peak-hour deliveries and left turns from Cowley Road onto Iffley Road (seen below) at the roundabout, believed to be one of the most used in the country, with visits from 12,000 bike riders each day, and described by cycling campaign group Cyclox's chair Dr Alison Hill as having "the reputation of being the most dangerous junction in the UK outside London".
📷: The Plain roundabout banned left turn
In response to drivers ignoring the ban on dangerous left turns, ITV reports that the council will now install a camera to catch and fine rule-breaking road users, councillor Andrew Gant saying there is "a good deal of support" for the measure.
"This will be an extra measure to help improve safety at The Plain for all road users, especially the most vulnerable such as pedestrians and cyclists," the county council's cabinet member for transport management said.
"This is a very busy roundabout and the banned left turn is a road safety hazard, which increases the risks for all users. There is a good deal of support for the installation of a camera to deter this."
The camera will see rule breakers receive a £70 penalty charge notice, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.
"A deterrent to many people who want to cycle"
Following Dr Felce's death, 40-year-old lorry driver Robert Whiting, who did not hold a licence or insurance, and was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the fatal collision, was jailed for eight years.
Dr Hill of Cyclox described the roundabout as "a deterrent to many people who want to cycle between east Oxford and the city" and thanked the council for involving cycling groups in the process of implementing safety measures, but warned that "ultimately much more radical changes will be needed to eliminate serious collisions".
The works followed on from the council banning peak-hour deliveries, and were introduced last autumn, including amendments to road markings and traffic signs and the installation of light bike lane segregation, road studs, bollards, and cycle stands.
At the time, councillor Gant said he had "spent a considerable amount of time investigating ways of improving safety at The Plain roundabout".
"These changes were drawn up in collaboration with cycling groups and we are grateful for their help in this process," he added. "Our commitment to Vision Zero means we will continue to work with local cycling groups to help ensure new cycling infrastructure is designed and delivered to maximise safety.
"We want people to feel safe and secure when travelling around the city and county by bike and it's clear that we need to continue to improve."
In August cyclists expressed concern after a diversion, while a popular cycle path was closed for bridge repairs, sent riders via the notoriously dangerous roundabout rather than through University Parks' off-road paths where cycling is prohibited.
Ultimately a compromise between the council and university was found, with cyclists allowed to wheel their bikes through university land during the route's closure.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.