Is the end of the road in sight for Long Wittenham’s controversial road humps? Removing humps from traffic calming schemes is being considered by the government in the drive to reduce growing pollution levels and they are being considered by Oxfordshire County Council.
The government is promising councils £255m to remove speed humps, change road layouts and boost public transport. Draft proposals have to be published by next spring. The chairman of Long Wittenham Parish Council Gordon Rogers wrote to Yvonne Constance the cabinet member responsible for transport about the county’s approach.
Mrs Constance said removing humps would be considered but there were many implications and other considerations which had to be taken into account.
She said: “We don’t know exactly what we will do yet because it all has to be looked at in great detail. We have to decide whether it will be applied to all roads and look at the picture road by road.”
Mr Rogers said: “Opinion about the road humps is divided. Unquestionably they reduce the speed of vehicles but on the other hand increase pollution. The school, village hall and homes are located in the High Street. Traffic slows down, stops and then accelerates.”
“For years the humps have been surrounded in controversy. If they’re removed then the chicanes could remain but some measures are needed to prevent speeding traffic. Speed cushions could replace the large hump outside the Vine and Spice.”
In Long Wittenham three sets of speed humps have been in place for about 20 years, put in by the county council to slow down traffic. Didcot Road and the main High Street suffer from high volumes of traffic and the position is likely to get worse over the coming years as the Ladygrove estate in Didcot is expanded to within a mile of the village.
Mr Rogers said the parish council would push developers building the Ladygrove extension to contribute towards improved traffic calming measures and he added: “Improving public transport is another key issue in the government’s plan and we would like to see the restoration of a bus service to Didcot.”