THE MYSTERIOUS HAMBURGER
If you are neither a resident of Bicester or a car driver, you maybe under the false illusion that the hamburger roundabout is a drive-through fast food restaurant. It is not, it is in fact the A41 Bicester Services roundabout with a road laid across the middle to allow through traffic a faster route.
As we have mentioned previously, traffic in Bicester is growing. 10,000 new homes, Bicester Village’s 23% expansion and a new office park with 2000 car parking spaces. Without a coherent plan or investment, congestion and pollution will only worsen. Spoiler alert: there is no coherent plan. In an attempt to mitigate traffic growth, Oxfordshire County Council who are responsible for all our highways, proposed the hamburger roundabout. This is the third ‘burger’ roundabout after Headington and Heyford Hill on the Oxford ring road.
Unfortunately for Bicester, our burger has not been as palatable. OK no more puns. We have received numerous reports of drivers being confused by a plethora of lanes choices leading to last minute erratic swerves. Even more dangerous have been the reports of drivers on the roundabout turning the wrong way against the flow of traffic or not being aware of red stop lights.
So why do the hamburgers of Oxford work smoothly whilst our own is problematic? Although we have no evidence to verify these theories it has been suggested that the large number of visitors Bicester Village attracts may be unfamiliar with the layout and combined with poor signage they become confused.
The solution would seem to be better and earlier signage to allow our visitors to align to the correct lane sooner. On the hamburger roundabout itself, planting or fencing could visually guide drivers to the correct route.
So is the road dangerous? It is probably not dangerous per se however when you witness daily other drivers swerving across multiple lanes, turning across the flow of the roundabout, doing U-turns in heavy traffic and running red lights you have to objectively ask yourself how long will it be until a serious accident takes place? Better and earlier signage would certainly improve safety and more road markings could also better give drivers more opportunity to get into the correct lane sooner. Sadly we note that the brand new road markings are already disintegrating. In the dark and the wet, they are almost impossible to see.
How can we improve the situation? Please contact your County Councillor. They are paid at least £10,100pa to represent you and it is one of the few things Oxfordshire County Council has not cut back. Please let them know your feelings on this and other subjects:
- Bicester North - Lawrie Stratford: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bicester Town - Michael Waine: email@example.com,
- Bicester West - Les Sibley: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Otmoor - Dan Sames: email@example.com