20mph Zone

A 20mph zone through Long Wittenham is edging closer.  The village is one of three areas in South Oxfordshire chosen as pilot schemes to reduce traffic speeds and pollution as part of the ‘Green’ agenda.

Last week, parish councillors met county council consultant Colin Davis who is heading a special task force designed to examine ways of making communities safer and more environmentally friendly.

Mr Davis welcomed the parish council’s determination to tackle traffic speeds and help the environment.  Another meeting is planned, by which time the council will have provided information on traffic flows and speeds to support the project.

The ‘20s Plenty’ plan has the backing of the village’s county councillor, Dr Pete Sudbury, who was successful in winning all-Party support for a motion to reduce traffic speeds.

He said: “I welcome this initiative and hope the parish council and villagers will pursue the project to make the village safer.  The Department for Transport will not stand in the way and the county council fully supports such schemes”.

Parish council chairman Gordon Rogers said: “For years the council has received complaints from villagers worried about speeding traffic particularly along Didcot Road.  An opportunity has presented itself which the council wants to seize with both hands and involve villagers in the scheme”.

A raised pedestrian crossing and new traffic calming measures in Didcot Road are expected this Summer to improve safety and access to the Vanderbilt development off Fieldside.  Chicanes and road humps have been in place for nearly twenty years along High Street.  Although they reduce speed they also contribute to noise and pollution.

Passing lorries and farm vehicles can cause structural damage to nearby homes. The parish council says it will be interesting to explore new and alternative measures which lend themselves to the village environment.

A video about traffic calming in rural villages can be viewed at: https://publicrealm.org/traffic-calming-in-rural-villages/

If you have views on a 20mph zone in the village, either positive or negative, please leave a comment below.

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10 Responses to 20mph Zone

  1. les Ormonde says:

    Although the aims of the 20 mph zone are to be applauded, I fear that the new restrictions will make no appreciable difference without enforcement – as is the case for the current 30mph speed limit. If there was some police enforcement, the 20mph zone would probably not be necessary.

    I feel sure that when the new restrictions are in place, although there might be an initial calming effect, once drivers realise that there is no penalty for exceeding the speed limit they will revert to their earlier behaviour.

  2. Donna king says:

    Yes I do think it is a step forward ,but really need a speed bump by saxons Heath ,I feel this should be a priority before all the houses on Didcot straight are finished !!!

  3. David Haylett says:

    It certainly does need some effective way of enforcing it. If you wait to turn out of Saxon’s Heath almost every car coming at you from the Didcot direction triggers the “30” sign to flash on. If drivers ignore the 30mph signs, why are they going to observe a limit of 20mph?

  4. Sally Duff says:

    The areas I would like to see improved are:

    The Humps (both)

    The crossing from Fieldside to Fieldside (just round the bend) especially worrying for horse riders/walkers and residents of Fieldside

    The crossing of road at other end of village from High St to Little Wittenham Road. Again the bend from Clifton Hampden makes this incredibly hazardous especially for people with children, dogs, cyclists and slow paced people.

    I would like to see the 20mph speed limit not just because it makes it safer but also because it would reduce the traffic noise which has increased considerably over the past years.
    Also pedestrians are less likely to be soaked after we’ve had heavy rain.
    I’ve lost count of the times Ludo and I have come home wet through because of an inconsiderate driver!

  5. Martin Elliff says:

    I fully support a 20mph zone throughout the village.

  6. Ronald Carter says:

    Yes I totally agree with this action but painting 20mph signs on the road would do no good at all.
    I have lived at 1 Saxons Heath for the past 50 years and have seen the volume and speeds of vehicles increased by 100per cent. All vehicles are entering the village at speeds in excess of 50 mph let alone the 30 mph sign. The only way to slow traffic down in this area, would be to put speed humps both sides of the road so vehicles have to slow down. With the new development going ahead this will only cause more problems. The High St is reasonably well protected for this, but the main concern must be Didcot Rd and this I feel must be looked into.
    Ron Carter.

  7. Debra Steele says:

    I live on Didcot Road and we are lucky if a car goes past at 30 so the reduction to 20 will not work unless it is enforced with a speed camera. I would say 40-50 is the average speed that most vehicles enter the village. They race to get through the the chicane before oncoming traffic. I watch it day in, day out, whilst working from home.

  8. Mike Pearson says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    It’s all very well having a signposted 20mph within the village boundaries, but without enforcement, ANY speed limit is wasted. Who’s going to enforce it?
    As a retired police officer, I’m bound to inform you that those who regularly exceed the 30 and 60 speed limits within the Parish, will continue to do so if the 20mph is implemented or not.
    From my experience, that is.
    Mike Pearson.

  9. J May says:

    I do agree that the speeding problem in the village is not new; also that without a form of enforcement, a 20 mph limit will be ineffective. Presumably it will also entail a number of 20 mph signs, which will only add to the urbanization of the village. In all of this, we should not lost sight of the fact that the 2 straight pieces of road where speeding is most likely to occur are the centre of the village, (maximum speed possibilities outside the School and village Hall) and the Didcot straight (site of proposed new development/hub); this was the reason for the original installation of the chicanes/humps in the centre of the village. Whether we like them or not, they are effective in controlling speeds at a crucial point in the High Street.

  10. Chris Waites says:

    It’s a great idea.

    People know where the speed enforcement is – I’m sure I’m not alone in being especially careful to brake to 30mph in places like Nuneham Courtenay where the police attend regularly.

    With 20mph drivers flouting the speed limit are off to court at 35mph, not 50mph as with 30mph limits. Only need a few days of visible police presence and a few people in the Oxford Mail courts reports for the message to get through.

    If the only issue is whether it will be enforced, the police should be pressured to enforce it. Proper police, not some mickey mouse warning letter scheme. It is rare to go on the M40 without seeing a police speed camera van, there is no reason why 50% of those could not be redeployed to villages and urban areas.

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