Traffic Update on A420 – today, 7 February 2018

The resident Mole has been busy counting traffic, see the summary of thier findings below. It makes for controversial reading…

Our local postie has taken to parking in the bus stop by the church, and walking to the seven houses alongside Tubney Church because popping in and out of our drives is too dangerous.

This morning he comments, “When the lorries go past, they can blow you into the road”.  At that moment, Eddie Stobart thunders past and he shrugs.  “It’s a rural area,” he shouts above the noise. “They should slow the speed down to 30.”

He’s right – this is rural Oxfordshire. Around us is fields and woods.  We’re 2 miles from the nearest shop, we’ve no street lamps, or mains drainage. And we like it that way.  Yet right outside the front door is one of ‘the most dangerous roads in the south east of England’ (reports Oxford Mail and Jack fm, 6 Feb 2018).  Roaring past are heavy lorries carrying haulage, half-built cars, building material, FMCG, supply chain and logistics all moving “stuff”.

Why are they on this quiet, bendy, 50mph, one-lane-in each-direction A road? Perhaps because it’s the shortest route from M4 to M40, or from Swindon to Oxford, and uses up less diesel than going the A34 route.  Mr DAF, Mr Leyland and Mr IVECO tuck in, one behind the other in convoy through the countryside from 4am until the small hours, rattling the windows and challenging the foundations.

From my office window I have a clear view of both lanes – here are some 5-minute segments of today’s traffic survey. Data is less valid as haven’t captured morning rush-hour too.

Summary of findings

  • Average traffic in both directions in 5 mins is 116 vehicles
  • Average traffic in both directions in one hour is 1,392 vehicles
11.05-11.10 – usually the quietest time of the day
Cars Vans HGV Summary – in 5 mins, 58 vehicles
Oxford to Swindon 13 11 9 33 vehicles, 2 lorries per minute
Swindon to Oxford 17 3 5 25 vehicles, 1 lorry per minute
12.15-12.20 – also a quieter time of day
Cars Vans HGV Summary – in 5 mins, 99 vehicles
Oxford to Swindon 21 14 5 40 vehicles, 8 vehicles per minute
Swindon to Oxford 44 8 7 59 vehicles, 12 vehicles per minute
1.10-1.15 – aren’t people on lunch?
Cars Vans HGV Summary – in 5 mins, 95 vehicles
Oxford to Swindon 25 16 8 49 vehicles, 10 vehicles per minute
Swindon to Oxford 31 7 8 46 vehicles, 9 vehicles per minute
14.50-14.55 – getting a bit chaotic to count (might have missed a few)
Cars Vans HGV Summary – in 5 mins, 124 vehicles
Oxford to Swindon 41 11 10 62 vehicles, 12 vehicles per minute, 1 every 5 seconds
Swindon to Oxford 39 16 7 62 vehicles, 12 vehicles per minute, 1 every 5 seconds
15.40-15.45 – getting more chaotic to count both directions (definitely missed a few)
Cars Vans HGV Summary – in 5 mins, 133 vehicles (1 vehicle every 2 seconds)
Oxford to Swindon 63 14 4 81 vehicles, clearly heavier with cars in this direction
Swindon to Oxford 36 12 4 52 vehicles
16.45-16.50 – hard to count both directions (definitely missed a few)
Cars Vans HGV Summary – in 5 mins, 157 vehicles (1 vehicle every 2 seconds)
Oxford to Swindon 78 20 4 102 vehicles, clearly heavier with cars in this direction
Swindon to Oxford 30 16 9 55 vehicles
18.05-18.10 – chaos, don’t ask how I did it (impossible to differentiate vans and cars in the dark)
Cars Vans HGV Summary – in 5 mins, 149 vehicles (1 vehicle every 2 seconds)
Oxford to Swindon 99 2 1 102 vehicles, clearly much heavier with cars in this direction
Swindon to Oxford 36 4 7 47 vehicles

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