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Oxford Blog

The Oxford Blog is a collection of diary entries, news, gossip and other Oxford related information.

Go-ahead for 20mph speed limit plan in Oxford
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, has given the scheme the go-ahead in the same week that the Government said it wanted to see similar schemes introduced elsewhere in the country.

What is the aim of the plan?
The aim of the plan is:

* to increase safety levels and help reduce accidents. The speeds at which vehicles travel is directly linked to the severity of injuries sustained in the event of an accident. A pedestrian, if struck by a vehicle driving at 20mph, is likely to suffer slight injuries. At 30mph they would be severely hurt and at 40mph or above are likely to be killed
* to improve the environment and quality of life for pedestrians, cyclists and residents
* to encourage more people to walk and cycle to reduce congestion and pollution, and to improve health

Where will limits be introduced?
The 20mph limits will be introduced on:

* almost all residential minor roads within the city (excluding North Hinksey and Botley)
* un-numbered through-roads, except where they are part of heavily-used bus routes into the city
* some sections of the main A roads and the B road network where there are busy shopping areas particularly in the city centre

There are already a number of 20mph zones and limits in Oxford, and these would be incorporated into the wider project. Supporting measures would probably be required at some minor road locations to get speeds to an acceptable level

How will main roads be affected?
Most major roads will remain at 30mph to keep the limits realistic as they are unlikely to reduce speeds significantly without extensive traffic calming measures.

Radial routes such as the following would not be included:

* Abingdon Road
* Banbury Road (either side of Summertown)
* Woodstock Road
* Botley Road beyond Abbey Road
* London Road either side of Brookes/Headington Shops
* Iffley Road beyond Temple Street

Routes around the city that would also not be part of the limit include:
* the ring road
* Oxpens Road/Thames Street
* Marston Ferry Road
* Donnington Bridge Road
* The Botley, Cumnor and North Hinksey areas will not be part of any 20mph plans with people from those areas having already stated that they do not want to be part of the proposal.

Oxfordshire County Council conducted consultation during September and October 2008 and February 2009.

In September and October 2008, Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport attended several Oxford City Council area committee meetings to hear views on the plans. There was also a public meeting at County Hall. Advertisements were run on local radio station Jack FM to advise people of how and where they could have their say. There was an online feedback form anad FREEPOST address.

In February 2009, leaflets were put in to libraries and council offices across Oxford asking for views on the detail of the plans. Again, online feedback forms and a FREEPOST address were both available.

Around 61 per cent of those who responded to the first consultation were in favour of the proposals with 69 per cent in favour on the second occasion.

North Hinksey and Botley
Consutlation with the people of North Hinksey and Botley made it clear at an early stage that local people in these areas were not in favour of 20mph speed limits. The initial plan to include these areas as part of the plan was therefore dropped.

Encouraging walking and cycling
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "We had been receiving calls from local people for some time to consider 20mph speed limits in residential roads.

"On the basis that a reduction in speed will reduce the number and severity of accidents, encourage walking and cycling and generally improve the environment for pedestrians we have decided to go ahead with the plan. The fact that the Government wants similar schemes introduced elsewhere puts Oxfordshire in the vanguard."

"If this cuts speed by even a 1mph average that will deliver a five per cent reduction in casualties - nationally accepted speed statistics prove that. If this saves one life, it will have been worth it."

Posted : 24/04/2009 11:40:27

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