A third meeting of the working group to discuss proposals for a 20mph zone through the village was held last week, attended by parish councillors, Oxfordshire County Council’s consultant Colin Davis and county councillor Dr Pete Sudbury.
A Road Safety Analysis of accidents in the village examined the accident record by the police over ten years between 2011 and 2019. The reports can be seen on the national accident website www.crashmap.co.uk. Three serious and five slight accidents are shown. It seems that there have been three accidents just east of The Plough Inn. The group wants to know if any local residents were involved.
Traffic speed in the centre of the village is usually at or above 30mph but on Didcot Road, especially going south as drivers leave the village, speeds approaching 40mph are not uncommon. The group wants to know if there are other locations in the village where traffic is too fast.
Traffic volumes appear to be made up of people passing through the village with definite increases in the morning and evening. Have residents noticed any changes in recent years?
Two places in the High Street where people frequently need to cross the road are at the school and between the Parish church and Fieldside. Are there other places where people need to cross the road on a regular basis?
Locations of concern: though there are no recorded accidents, the two sharp corners at each end of the High Street are often mentioned as being dangerous. Cyclists in particular have difficulty if they need to go across traffic to turn right. Are there other places where cyclists experience difficulties?
Among other issues discussed at the meeting was a proposal from Cllr Duff to print 20mph stickers for cars and encourage people to practice driving at the slower speed. She told the meeting that she had been practicing driving at 20mph to “get into the habit of driving slower and more carefully”.
Gordon Rogers, chairman of the parish council, said there was a chicane on Didcot Road and chicanes and humps on High Street which helped act a deterrent to speeding vehicles. He said that in the Summer there would be a pedestrian crossing and traffic-calming measures on Didcot Road. He said there would be no need for spending a lot of money on other measures. The meeting discussed the idea of using wooden planters along Didcot Road and High Street as a measure to slow down vehicles.
Mr Davis said the county council would have to issue as Experimental Order for six months which would be subject to public consultation. Councillors raised fears about the possible cost of the scheme and pointed out that the parish council had limited resources.
Mr Davis said planting more trees would help improve the village and deter some parking on grass verges in High Street. He also called for wood sculptors, artists and landscape people to step forward and play a role in helping to create the new speed zone.
The next meeting of the working group is planned for 19th March.
for cyclists, turning right, either by the cross to head towards Pendon, or at the other end of the village, turning right to go to Little Wittenham are the worst places in the village. Cycling to Clifton Hampden is also a major concern. Hopefully the new cycle path will be built to solve this, but there was an accident with a car and cyclist near the Maddy, which is in the village boundary. The new cut throughs in the speed humps are certainly welcome, and residents do seem to be resepecting the request not to park on the cycle lane coming up to the humps.
If it isn’t residents it’s school parents. As a six year old who is desperate to cycle everywhere, it’s frustrating she needs to cycle on the pavement because the cycle lane is almost always blocked, and even cycling behind her it is not safe to go through the chicanes.
Equally sad the parish council objected to double yellow lines being painted to protect cyclists.
As well as the locations mentioned for crossing, I would also say that the road is frequently crossed to access the Bodkins playing field and playground, often with children. Here you are likely to cross from High Street near the tight bend at the Clifton Hampden end, then walk up Little Wittenham Road towards Northfield Lane. Or to access Northfield Lane from the end of Fieldside crossing over Little Wittenham Road.
Specifically when crossing the High Street cars come quickly round that bend and don’t have visual site of you crossing until they are round the corner.
Thank you for the chance to comment. Specifically:
a) Agreed that traffic speeds from Didcot Road to Plough may easily be observed to be excessive, and are only reduced on approach to chicanes/humps in the centre of the village. There are also high speeds on approach from Clifton Hampden in the 30mph zone. the 30 mph sign outside Lower Farm is however currently obscured by a mirror installation apparently made by an adjacent property. The Little Wittenham Rd continues to be a problem, although helped by the white fencing put up.
b) Traffic volumes are notably increased even in the past year, and may be readily observed. Traffic begins earlier and finishes later in the day, and the “rush hour” has extended.
c) I agree with Anna Warren about the problems of crossing the High St adjacent to the Little Wittenham Road; a crossing near the Church would be a better option, as not only do cars come at speed round a blind corner here, but the camber of the road is adverse, with vehicles often straddling the central line.
d) I would support any measures which would reduce any urbanisation of the High Street; on a recent journey through a 20mph limit we counted 8, yes, 8 20 mph signs even before the limit was reached, with further road markings in the zone itself.