Ray Mill Road West is 'a racetrack', says councillor

Shay Bottomley

shayb@baylismedia.co.uk

A councillor has compared Ray Mill Road West to a ‘racetrack’ as concerns remain over the busy road being used as a rat run.

Cllr Gurch Singh (Lib Dem, St Mary’s) compared the road – which is used by drivers travelling to and from the riverside – to Monte-Carlo, a street circuit used by Formula One which is notoriously dangerous.

The road became increasingly busy last year as motorists sought to avoid heavy traffic caused by road works at the junction of Oldfield Road.

However, even after the road works were completed last summer, the road has continued to be used as a ‘shortcut’ by motorists looking to avoid heavy traffic on the A4.

With parked cars on either side of the road, Cllr Singh has called for further action to be taken by the council before a ‘really bad incident’ happens.

Furthermore, he expressed concern over developments in and around the area which has contributed to its increase in vehicular demand.

“Ray Mill Road used to be a quiet resident street,” said Cllr Singh.

“The problem is now it has been built upon exponentially.

“When the A4 was closed, it was used as a shortcut. Now, it’s like muscle memory, because people cut down there when they see traffic [on the A4].

“That road is becoming a death trap, and it’s an accident waiting to happen if the council do not take it seriously.

“It’s like being in Monte-Carlo – it’s a racetrack.”

Cllr Singh added that he would like to see a crossing installed on the road – which is the border between his own ward and Riverside – to improve pedestrian safety before someone is injured emerging from behind parked cars.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Ray Mill Road West already has a 20mph speed limit, which along with speed tables and on-street parking help to calm traffic. There are also footpaths on both sides to further aid pedestrian safety.

“Public safety is a top priority and in response to claims of dangerous speeding we undertook a safety review.

“Our recent traffic survey showed that the vast majority of motorists observe the 20mph limit and drive responsibly.

“Moreover, no injury collisions have been recorded in Ray Mill Road West within the last 10 years.

“While unfortunately a minority of drivers will exceed speed limits regardless of highways measures, the data from our safety review of Ray Mill Road West shows the 20mph limit and traffic calming measures already in place are very effective.”

The spokesperson added that anyone with ongoing concerns is ‘welcome to approach the police to request high visibility targeted enforcement’ in the area.

Thames Valley Police has been contacted for comment.

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