Street Audit: Botley Road
REPORT OF AN OxPA AUDIT OF BOTLEY ROAD ON JULY 25 2017
OxPA members walked west down the south side of Botley Road and east back towards town on the north side.
Overall comments: Walking along Botley Road is an experience of a degraded environment for much of its length. The air is noisy with motor engines and dirty with soot from motors. Many (though by no means all) houses along the route, especially on the south side, reflect this with grimy neglected exteriors and gardens gone to seed, and indeed it would be hard to enjoy a garden fronting directly onto this ‘arterial’ route. Steep cambers make crossing many side roads difficult for a person in a wheelchair or with mobility difficulties. The OxPA member who was in a wheelchair could not have managed the walk alone as help was needed negotiating the cambers which were off desire lines at the junction of many side roads. There were two short areas where the pavement was wide and flat, but these were interrupted by cycle lanes cutting right across the footway and slicing it in half so that walkers were forced to the sides of the pavements nearest to the
traffic and where the pavement is most degraded. For much of the length of the west end of Botley Road, four lanes of roadway function as two lanes of traffic so that space is wasted. Drivers seem to be regularly breaching the 30mph speed limit.
We would like to see the cycle and pedestrian lanes switched round so the cycle lane is adjacent to the carriageway. It is not safe for pedestrians with poor mobility, wheelchair users or people with young children to have to walk next to the kerb so close to fast heavy traffic, especially on stretches where the pavement has been severely deformed to allow cars to cross to front gardens. We recommend that these pavements are levelled and a short dropped kerb added where necessary.
Detailed points are as follows:
1) Pavement extensions are needed across the entrance to the following side streets: Mill Street, Hillview Road, Alexandra Road, Oatlands Road, Harley Road, Riverside Road, Duke Street, Binsey Lane, Helen Road, Henry Road, Abbey Road, at the entrance to the Park & Ride car park and at the entrance to the Volvo building on the north side of Botley Road. All these side street crossings are currently steep, broken in places, and sometimes hard to access, being off desire lines and at a tight corner. The entrance to Prestwich Place is an example of the sort of pavement extension we would like to see more of.
2) More crossings, preferably zebra, are needed across Botley Road itself, especially outside Waitrose, and where the Thames Path crosses the road by Osney Island.
3) Driveways to houses start at the edges of the pavements on Botley Road meaning that the designated footway at the edge of the pavement is very ‘up and down’ and uneven, with a steep slope to the side in some places. Cars routinely park on the pavements on the north side of the road.
4) There are places where the footway is far too narrow, eg. Osney Island Thames Bridge, outside St Frideswide Church where the bus shelter has been installed, and next to the bus shelter outside the allotments.
5) At Ferry Hinksey Rd there is a light-controlled crossing but it is well out of the way and widely off the desire line.
6) Harley Road entrance crossing is especially bad; sloped and at an angle
off the desire line, impossible for someone who is mobility impaired.
7) After Earl Street walking west, cycle lane crosses the pavement and then occupies half of it. Pedestrian deterrent paving narrows footway on other side of footway. After Park & Ride walking east is a stretch of good wide flat pavement, however this is quickly cut into by cycle lane crossing footway and cutting it
in half, again pushing walkers to the traffic side of the pavement where the pavement is not at all flat owing to excessive provision made for cars mounting pavements to access driveways.
8) At entrance to Bullstake Close there is a steep slope to the pavement extension!
9) Outside no 96 Botley Road a pedestrian desire line is obstructed by the metal barrier preventing access to the road, plus two traffic islands with pedestrian-deterrent surfacing on them
10) Outside no 54, tree root creates trip hazard.
11) After Waitrose waking east the cycle lane and footway markings are highly confused and confusing.
We crossed over before attempting the horror of the railway bridge underpass which is very narrow, dirty and polluted.