Important works to improve safety on the A361 are now complete. The 16km road between Banbury and Chipping Norton has benefitted from a £4 million investment after the Road Safety Foundation identified it as one of the 50 sections of A-class roads in the UK with the highest risk of accidents.
Extensive resurfacing, water drainage improvements, the installation of a new shared-use pedestrian and cycleway path between Banbury and Bloxham, speed limit reductions and road markings and signage improvements, including yellow-backed and raised signs for better visibility, and the introduction of road studs on all bends to better guide motorists at night have all been delivered as part of a comprehensive programme carried out by Conservative-led Oxfordshire County Council.
The route is now also the first in Oxfordshire to use new revolutionary photo-luminescent technology on-road signage. Known as i-glo discs, signs glow more illuminated at night before using natural light to recharge during the day. The discs can glow for up to 10 hours, acting as pathfinder without the need for additional street lighting, saving revenue, and reducing carbon emissions.
Councillor Kieron Mallon is the County Councillor for the Bloxham and Easington Division which spans a considerable stretch of the A361. On a visit to see the completed works, he said: “I am pleased with the results of these essential works. I pressed for the safety record of this road to be recognised and played an active role in the Council’s bid which secured the £4 million grant from the Department of Transport. The A361 is a vital piece of Banbury’s infrastructure. The easy and safe flow of traffic is crucial for residents, commuters, and local businesses alike.
As the coronavirus lockdown eases and the road returns to its usual busy state, it is reassuring to know that this extensive package of safety improvements will be in place to help reduce accidents and save lives.
This has been a major project and I thank all those who use the A361 for their patience during the construction. Everybody wants safer and better roads, but no one likes the disruption whilst the necessary works take place. However, short-term pain has led to a massive gain in terms of road-quality and improved safety for all users.”
Analysis by the Road Safety Foundation and the RAC Foundation undertaken in 2018 estimated that 46 casualties and deaths will be prevented on the A361 as a result of this investment.