Gallery

Kidlington’s and Yarnton’s Pothole Hall of Shame [VIDEO]

I went for a wander around Kidlington and Yarnton to check out the state of the roads. So many people have told me this is one of their major concerns in the area. Cyclists in particular are worried about poor maintenance of cycle paths and the spaces on roads that they have to use.

Last year I highlighted the County Council’s cynical actions in painting a cycle path marking over the top of an appalling road surface that was actually dangerous for cyclists to use. I said then that they were quite literally painting over the cracks in their road maintenance responsibilities.

Things haven’t improved in the meantime and I thought it was about time some of these appalling road surfaces were documented for posterity. Also I’m hoping that my video can be used to shame the council into finally dealing with damaged roads in our areas that have remained untouched for years. You can watch it for yourself here

Many of our local roads and walkways haven’t been properly repaired for years. County Councillors need to be lobbying for more funds to keep our roads in a decent state of repair and focusing on making proper cycling infrastructure more plentiful across the county.

If we al wake up to a new County Council next week I hope one of the first things they set about doing is getting a grip on this worsening situation. I know that if I’m one of those councillors I will certainly be calling for this as soon as possible.

Gallery

The County Council are quite literally painting over the cracks in cycling infrastructure

I was flabbergasted to see cycle lane markings appearing on some roads in my ward in east Kidlington after asking the county council to repair them since I was elected in 2019.

Roads such as Yarnton Road, which is a major route from Kidlington, have been in a terrible state of repair for years, with large potholes, cracks and raised areas around access covers.  Areas near the kerbside are heavily damaged making for an uncomfortable and dangerous ride for cyclists and other road users. Yet repeated requests to the council and reports on Fix My Street have gone unheeded.

Now, in the wake of increased cycling as a result of the pandemic, cycle lane symbols have appeared on this road on top of the cracks and potholes, with no attempt to repair the long-standing degradation of the road surface.

Other roads, such as the Bicester Road, have had painted cycle lanes on the main carriageway for some time, but there are also poorly maintained and often blocked by parked cars meaning cyclists have to face oncoming traffic to navigate them. This is particularly bad given that this road has a local school and is also subject to an air quality management area.

But I was gobsmacked when I saw the cycling symbol on Yarnton Road.  This is a road that I regularly cycle down and it’s a real bone shaker.  It’s no exaggeration to say that you have to hang on for dear life as you bounce along the road near the curbs, dodging potholes and cracks.  It’s especially dangerous at night.

The road forms part of a national cycling route, but you’d never know it to look at the surface of the carriageway.  It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted!  I couldn’t believe they just slapped a cycle symbol on the road without any attention to its terrible condition.

It takes more than a pot of paint and a stencil to create a cycle path.  The road surface has to be fit for riders if they are to be encouraged to use it.  Even motorists complain about the state of this road.  How does the council expect cyclists to cope as they rattle across these severely damaged and uneven surfaces? This is just pure tokenism!

It just goes to show how little the council knows or cares about the plight of cyclists in the county.  If they really want to encourage more sustainable transport, especially post COVID, they have to take cyclists needs into proper account when carrying out road maintenance rather than literally just painting over the cracks!

We need more Green councillors on the county council to take these sorts of issue seriously and deliver real improvements for cyclists, pedestrians and other road users, rather than these half-hearted token gestures from a council devoid of real leadership and direction.