I bet your reaction to these photographs was the same as mine. It looks like the usual Oxfordshire County Council highways scenario, doesn’t it?
You see the straightforward T junction at the junction of New Road, Worcester Street and Park End Street. The traffic here is relatively light because the roads are closed off in two directions, but the junction seems to warrant lots of traffic lights AND a roundabout.
All that is missing, you would think, are some of those notices which they scatter randomly round the streets – perhaps the motor-bike jumping over a car, a couple of 20 MPH zone signs, a few bus lane notices and one of those confusing ones which list all the vehicle types which can (or is it cannot, I am never sure) use the streets between certain hours. There will a few notices saying “Pedestrian cross here” (you bet we are) and lots of arrows and lines on the road.
That is what I thought was going on here, my view fortified by the fact that we are at the year end so all the remaining budget has to be used up quickly. This spot is a short walk from the office, so the boys can easily get down and tick things off on their clip-boards before going back to work up the next round of schemes to soak up the budgets and keep the teams busy.
It is not like that at all. All this work is just temporary apparently, from now till June whilst Castle Mound is being repaired – you can see the works in the middle distance taking up the west-bound side of the road with its own traffic light control. Someone must have decided that two sets of lights so close to each other by a three way junction is just calculated to annoy everyone.
Quite right too – but we have exactly that where Parks Road meets South Parks Road, between Keble and the Science Area, with one set of lights by Museum Road and another a few feet further on. No-one suggests that that is calculated to annoy everyone (well, it annoys the motorists of course, but that is part of the function of Oxfordshire’s highways officers). Why is it necessary to frig around with the New Road junction like this?
Still, I am glad to find that all this is only temporary. Bear it in mind when you go arse over tit off your bike into a pot-hole which they don’t have the resources to repair.