Between December 1 2002 and November 30 2007, there have been 23 collisions involving motorbikes and mopeds along this 23.6km stretch of road.
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The collisions have left 27 people injured, of whom 6 suffered serious injuries. 1 person died, making this one of Thames Valley’s five most dangerous roads.
Hazards include stationary traffic, traffic slowing down or stopping to turn and vehicles pulling out from side roads and lay-bys.
Aylesbury to Waddesdon
As you leave Aylesbury the national speed limit signs are clearly visible but wait until you reach them before increasing speed. If you look you will see open recreation areas either side of the road. These are frequently used by local children who have to cross this busy road to get from one area to the other.
The crossroads just before reaching Waddesdon has local traffic frequently crossing the main A41 to and from Winchendon and Whitchurch.
As you enter Waddesdon be aware that a lot of tourists frequent the area to visit Waddesdon Manor and may not be too familiar with the locality. Be aware of the double bend in the centre of the village, especially when travelling towards Bicester. Give a wide berth as you negotiate the corner, as often there are parked vehicles to the nearside that may obscure your view.
As you leave the village the road drops down a slight incline into a long sweeping left hand curve. The road is controlled by a double white line system against drivers travelling into the village from Bicester. Drivers entering Waddesdon from the direction of Bicester often attempt late overtakes in an area where there isn’t a great deal of road available, so be aware.
About a mile further towards Westcott is a small turning to the village of Quainton. When heading towards Bicester this junction is off to the right just around a left-hand bend, with a small residential road onto the A41 on the left. This is a busy junction so look for the advance warning and exercise caution.
The main A41 passes right through the middle of this very small village. You will find two pubs, a garage, and a small number of houses fronting onto the road, meaning that very often you will find all manner of vehicles turning into and out of these premises, and pedestrians in the road. In the middle of this there is a crossroads linking Grendon Underwood and Ludgershall. There is a safety camera at this junction and it is there for a very good reason as there have been a number of serious injury and fatal collisions at this point.
This location demands respect so take a good look around as you negotiate this junction and village.
As you leave Kingswood towards Bicester you will come to a short section of dual carriageway. This is a point where motorists accelerate to pass slower moving vehicles. Keep an eye on your mirrors and also look out for vehicles turning across the carriageway, as there is a link to an adjoining farm and it is frequented by local traffic. This dual carriageway leads onto a long straight section of road that has had a surprising number of collisions over the years.
Road users do not always appreciate the speed of oncoming traffic when they commit to overtake and then find that the distance and time they thought was available is fast running out. Sometimes people fail to see the junctions and the cars that suddenly emerge into the road. Remain vigilant and think before committing to overtake.
The railway bridge that crosses the main A41 is historically a collision hot spot (right). In recent years a lot of engineering work has been completed to improve the area and users will find a safety camera for Aylesbury-bound traffic. Despite this, some road users still make overtakes on the approach to the bridge despite there being junctions and restricted views.
A 50 miles per hour limit has been set here and … the hazard here is well signed.
Notice the staggered crossroads road sign and the large warnings indicating the bridge height. The speed limit has been reduced and enforced because of the high number of lorries that have struck the bridge and which have on occasions then collided with other vehicles.
As a rider approaching the bridge, if you see oncoming vehicles and lorries in particular, try to avoid passing under the bridge at the same time. It has a history and demands respect, so be careful and slow down.
There are junctions on the exit side of the bridge when travelling in either direction and the bridge construction does not allow a good view of them until they are reached. In addition, for those travelling towards Aylesbury there is the entrance to a works site adjacent to the bridge that is completely hidden from view. This entrance meets the Marsh Gibbon road at a point where it emerges onto the main A41.
Road users will not always be aware of the heavy lorries until the bridge is reached, so as you approach the bridge have a good look.
The final part of the road into Bicester is open but beware of the local traffic as there is a Garrison fronting onto the road and there is a lot of military traffic moving to and from various parts of the site.