Rat run drivers ignoring ring road left turns ban

thisisoxfordshire: Cllr Jean Fooks, top right, with residents concerned by the number of drivers ignoring a left turn ban from the A40 Elsfield Way into Jackson Road.  Picture: OX64469  Ed Nix Buy this photo » Cllr Jean Fooks, top right, with residents concerned by the number of drivers ignoring a left turn ban from the A40 Elsfield Way into Jackson Road. Picture: OX64469 Ed Nix

A BAN on traffic taking a rat run from Oxford’s ring road through the Cutteslowe estate in North Oxford is not being properly enforced, according to a leading city and county councillor.

Councillor Jean Fooks, who is Liberal Democrat city councillor for Summertown, and county councillor for Wolvercote and Summertown, said residents have raised concerns about the number of vehicles ignoring the left turn ban from the A40 Elsfield Way into Jackson Road.

Mrs Fooks flagged up the problem with police and was told that when they fined drivers the fines were returned because the traffic regulation order introducing the ban was not properly in place.

Mrs Fooks said: “Drivers have been ignoring the ban on and off since it was introduced.

“When residents raised the matter with me I mentioned it to police but was told they have had to return fines because the ban could not be legally upheld.

“As a result I have raised this with county council officers and I’m waiting to hear back from them.

“Drivers with local knowledge are turning left into the estate to avoid the queue for the Cutteslowe roundabout and get through to Banbury Road.”

Allie Noel, manager of Cutteslowe Community Centre in Wren Road, who lives in Harefields, North Oxford, said: “Residents in Cutteslowe are very concerned about this.

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“It’s quite dangerous to make a left turn off the A40 into Jackson Road now because of the road layout. It’s supposed to be a 20mph speed limit on the estate but the drivers taking a rat run don’t stick to that.

“Parents who take their children to school in the area will not be pleased to hear that there is a problem with the ban on left turns.”

The ban was first introduced by the county council in 2005 as a safety measure to cut out rat running by drivers heading west from the Headington direction.

The restriction was first brought in on a temporary basis as an experimental traffic order.

County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “This traffic regulation order was made permanent in 2007. It is legal and enforceable. We were made aware by the police earlier this month about the difficulties they faced regarding fixed penalty notices issued at this location.”

Inspector Andy Thompson, of Thames Valley Police, said: “If there is a problem with the left turn ban we will work with the council on behalf of residents to rectify the matter.”

Comments (10)

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6:45am Thu 9 Jan 14

jonny1976 says...

Thanks for telling me about this loophole, I will use that road too now.
Thanks for telling me about this loophole, I will use that road too now. jonny1976

8:19am Thu 9 Jan 14

Geoff Roberts says...

Inspector Andy Thompson, of Thames Valley Police, said: “If there is a problem with the left turn ban we will work with the council on behalf of residents to rectify the matter.”

I doubt that. I suspect you'll do a single high profile operation that will last for a few hours, after which everything will return to normal until you do it again. That will keep happening and the issue will never be resolved.
Inspector Andy Thompson, of Thames Valley Police, said: “If there is a problem with the left turn ban we will work with the council on behalf of residents to rectify the matter.” I doubt that. I suspect you'll do a single high profile operation that will last for a few hours, after which everything will return to normal until you do it again. That will keep happening and the issue will never be resolved. Geoff Roberts

9:49am Thu 9 Jan 14

ChrisThrutney says...

Why not stick a load of bollards into the ground at the junction, that'll stop cars making a left turn
Why not stick a load of bollards into the ground at the junction, that'll stop cars making a left turn ChrisThrutney

9:59am Thu 9 Jan 14

bart-on simpson says...

A no left turn, then a 20mph sign; the signage is out of date then.
A no left turn, then a 20mph sign; the signage is out of date then. bart-on simpson

2:20pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Big AC says...

bart-on simpson wrote:
A no left turn, then a 20mph sign; the signage is out of date then.
No, it is a no left turn sign, not a no entry sign. People can still turn right to enter there. Anyway, the 20mph sign is newer.
[quote][p][bold]bart-on simpson[/bold] wrote: A no left turn, then a 20mph sign; the signage is out of date then.[/p][/quote]No, it is a no left turn sign, not a no entry sign. People can still turn right to enter there. Anyway, the 20mph sign is newer. Big AC

2:41pm Thu 9 Jan 14

bart-on simpson says...

Thanks Big AC for educating me.

Wishing the campaign well.
Thanks Big AC for educating me. Wishing the campaign well. bart-on simpson

5:55pm Thu 9 Jan 14

jayoxford says...

This reminds me of the time the barrier was down at the John Radcliffe Hospital, you published a story about it which just meant that more people used it. I really don't see the logic in publishing stories like this
This reminds me of the time the barrier was down at the John Radcliffe Hospital, you published a story about it which just meant that more people used it. I really don't see the logic in publishing stories like this jayoxford

5:28pm Fri 10 Jan 14

locodogz says...

Cor - bloody cyclists eh!?!?!?!
Cor - bloody cyclists eh!?!?!?! locodogz

6:46pm Fri 10 Jan 14

robbo81 says...

you could cure this pretty easily. The problem is the Cutteslowe roundabout and Wolvercote roundabout generally jamming up.

As drivers approach in the morning from Water Eaton to Summertown they cross the roundabout but end up blocking it because there's a million bus stops and traffic lights stopping their progress in to town. This then causes everyone coming west from headington up the A40 to sit in traffic (as I did for 45 minutes this morning from the marston slip up to Cutteslowe) people fed up with the congestion either then take the Marston ferry road or they take this cut through.

Why not try:

Traffic controlled lights that are video monitored and only operational at peak hours eg 7:30 - 9:30am. So when it blocks in to summertown they go red to allow A40 drivers to progress. if it isn't blocking then run them on a timed loop.

more radically levy huge congestion charges on all of oxford for any non-resident, or person without specific need to enter in a motor vehicle. Make exemptions for hospital visitors. Encourage the park and rides, build a couple more and increase parking at each site.

Try what they've done in Bath - fine single occupancy cars and provide benefits to car-sharers.

There's so many pinch points in Oxford where the solution is simple - take St Clems/south park left turn up marston road. It's on red when straight ahead up headington hill is green. Why would that left turn present a danger?? nothing is coming from any other direction. All it does is cause jams up to the plain roundabout in the morning.

The plain roundabout - people cross wherever they want. How about railings to prevent that and putting a proper crossing on each approach road.

I think the council is just staffed by idiots on their own agenda's and they'll never agree anything as that means everything will be perfect and they'll do themselves out of their petty nit-picking roles!
you could cure this pretty easily. The problem is the Cutteslowe roundabout and Wolvercote roundabout generally jamming up. As drivers approach in the morning from Water Eaton to Summertown they cross the roundabout but end up blocking it because there's a million bus stops and traffic lights stopping their progress in to town. This then causes everyone coming west from headington up the A40 to sit in traffic (as I did for 45 minutes this morning from the marston slip up to Cutteslowe) people fed up with the congestion either then take the Marston ferry road or they take this cut through. Why not try: Traffic controlled lights that are video monitored and only operational at peak hours eg 7:30 - 9:30am. So when it blocks in to summertown they go red to allow A40 drivers to progress. if it isn't blocking then run them on a timed loop. more radically levy huge congestion charges on all of oxford for any non-resident, or person without specific need to enter in a motor vehicle. Make exemptions for hospital visitors. Encourage the park and rides, build a couple more and increase parking at each site. Try what they've done in Bath - fine single occupancy cars and provide benefits to car-sharers. There's so many pinch points in Oxford where the solution is simple - take St Clems/south park left turn up marston road. It's on red when straight ahead up headington hill is green. Why would that left turn present a danger?? nothing is coming from any other direction. All it does is cause jams up to the plain roundabout in the morning. The plain roundabout - people cross wherever they want. How about railings to prevent that and putting a proper crossing on each approach road. I think the council is just staffed by idiots on their own agenda's and they'll never agree anything as that means everything will be perfect and they'll do themselves out of their petty nit-picking roles! robbo81

8:55am Sat 11 Jan 14

Yorrky says...

As a resident that lives right by that turn it's actually a complete pain in the bum to have to sit in traffic, then turn left on the roundabout and up Carlton Road to get home; so I have no problem with anyone risking the left turn route as all they're going to do is sit waiting to get out onto Banbury Road anyway for the same traffic they momentarily escaped to let them out; so the benefit is marginal of using it as a 'shortcut'.

Seems to me the issues are simply about speed, in which case speed bumps should sort that out, and a standard indignation from 'concerned residents' that people aren't following the rules; I might be bold and say the story did not originate from the young lady pictures with pram, rather one of the other picturees.
As a resident that lives right by that turn it's actually a complete pain in the bum to have to sit in traffic, then turn left on the roundabout and up Carlton Road to get home; so I have no problem with anyone risking the left turn route as all they're going to do is sit waiting to get out onto Banbury Road anyway for the same traffic they momentarily escaped to let them out; so the benefit is marginal of using it as a 'shortcut'. Seems to me the issues are simply about speed, in which case speed bumps should sort that out, and a standard indignation from 'concerned residents' that people aren't following the rules; I might be bold and say the story did not originate from the young lady pictures with pram, rather one of the other picturees. Yorrky

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