Oxford

New signs to stop wrong-way M40 drivers

A car Image copyright Nazar Yousif
Image caption A car was spotted driving the wrong way between junctions 6 and 7

Signs will be installed at the entrance to a motorway after two drivers joined in the wrong direction, one causing a crash that killed three people.

On Monday an elderly woman was seen travelling south on the northbound carriageway of the M40 near Wheatley.

In October an SUV towing a caravan had a fatal head-on collision with a Ford Mondeo on the same stretch of road.

Oxfordshire County Council has now installed temporary signs at junction 8a.

The crash in October claimed the lives of driver John Norton, 80, his passenger Olive Howard, 87, and Mondeo driver Stuart Richards, 32.

On Monday Thames Valley Police said it had received "numerous" reports of a car driving the wrong way between junctions 8 and 7.

It was later identified from dash cam footage and the driver, a woman in her 80s, was traced and visited by officers.

Police said she had admitted it was her driving at the time of the incident and voluntarily surrendered her driving licence.

Image caption Stuart Richards died when his Ford Mondeo was struck on the M40

A county council spokesman said the access to junction 8a of the M40 already had no entry signs, solid white lines and chevron signs, but further signs would be added.

He added that the council would also "discuss whether any additional measures would be appropriate on a permanent basis at this and other approaches to the M40".

A Highways England spokesman said it had commissioned a review looking at a number of junctions on the M40 "to maximise their safety in relation to wrong-way driving".

Concerns about Mr Norton, from High Wycombe, were raised with police days before the crash and the force has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

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